Assad visits ex-rebel bastion near capital: state TV

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a visit on Thursday to the town of Daraya outside Damascus, a former rebel bastion now mainly under government control, state television reported.

The broadcaster aired no immediate footage to accompany its report.

It was one of the few occasions that Assad had been reported to have travelled outside the capital since an uprising against his rule erupted in March 2011.

It came as he sent an Army Day message to troops telling them he was "sure of victory" over the rebels.