BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said crushing "terrorists" must come before any political solution to end the crisis in his country, dimming hopes of an international peace conference any time soon.
Speaking in Damascus, Assad praised recent gains by his military forces across the country and said Syria can finish off the insurgency "within months" if people fight with the army through a "popular war".
"How can we put an end to this battle and turn the table on others and restore security and stability? ... It is through this way (popular war) ... unity between the army and people to terminate terrorism."