(ROUGH CUT -- NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced what he described as a peace plan on Sunday (January 6), calling for a reconciliation conference with "those who have not betrayed Syria", to be followed by the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
"The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (the opposition), an end to terrorist operations and controlling the borders," he said in a speech at the opera house in central Damascus, his first public comments in months.
"We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West," he said.
As he moved to leave the stage, chanting supporters rushed up to greet Assad, crowding round the leader, who later was seen smiling and shaking people's hands.
Assad mobbed at opera rally (0:32)
Jan. 6 - A rare appearance by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to go out of control when he is mobbed at the Damascus opera house. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) ( Transcript )