Connect to share and comment

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to speak to nation on Sunday

As Assad speaks to nation, foreign minister travels to Iran for meetings with Ahmadinejad.

Clone of Bashar assad closeup 2012 10 19Enlarge
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to deliver a public address on Sunday, January 6, 2013, when he's expected to discuss the 21-month-old civil war. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has announced he will deliver a rare public address on Sunday as the bloody Syrian conflict continues to rage around the capital, Damascus.

The state-run Syrian news agency, SANA, made the announcement today with few details.

“President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a speech on Sunday morning on the latest developments in Syria and the region,” SANA said on its website.

The announcement comes as Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad arrived in Tehran today to speak with Iranian officials, that country’s news service reported.

FARS said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will host Mikdad.

"Iranian officials have recently called on political leaders and religious figures in the region to support its 6-point plan to settle the crisis in Syria," an online FARS report said.

Assad’s speech will come as fighting for control of Damascus continues in the suburbs, Reuters reported.

Loyalist forces pounded Jobar today after hitting Daraya on Friday. Both are held by rebels trying to overthrow Assad.

“The shelling began in the early hours of the morning, it has intensified since 11 a.m., and now it has become really heavy,” an activist told Reuters.

The uprising has killed more than 60,000 people since it began in March 2011.

More from GlobalPost: US troops arrive in Turkey to man Patriot missiles

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/130105/syrias-president-bashar-al-assad-speak-nation-sunday