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Syria ready to face any external aggression: Assad

world Updated: Sep 01, 2013 20:19 IST
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remained defiant on Sunday after his US counterpart Barack Obama decided to seek congressional approval for a military strike, reiterating his country was ready for any intervention.

"Syria... is capable of facing up to any external aggression just as it faces up to internal aggression every day, in the form of terrorist groups and those that support them," he said in comments carried by state news agency SANA.

In his first official remarks since Obama's unexpected announcement on Saturday, Assad said that Syria continues to "record victory after victory."

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad earlier told reporters in Damascus that Obama "was clearly hesitant, disappointed and confused when he spoke yesterday."

Obama's decision effectively pushes back any military action aimed at punishing Assad's regime over an alleged deadly poison gas attack until at least September 9, when US lawmakers return from their summer recess.

The United States and other Western and Arab countries have blamed the Syrian government for the suspected August 21 attack, which Washington says killed more than 1,400 people -- accusations Damascus categorically denies.