Assad says Syria will defend itself against aggression

BEIRUT Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:21am EDT

Free Syrian Army fighters take cover during what they said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Al Rasheddin, Aleppo, August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano

Free Syrian Army fighters take cover during what they said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Al Rasheddin, Aleppo, August 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that Syria would defend itself against any aggression following reports that the United States and its allies were preparing military action in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack.

"The threats of direct aggression against Syria will only increase our commitment to our deep-rooted principles and the independent will of our people. Syria will defend itself in the face of any aggression," state television quoted Assad as telling a delegation of Yemeni politicians.

(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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