Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has visited the town of Daraya near the capital, Damascus, to inspect army soldiers on the occasion of the country’s Army Day, Syrian media report. The visit was made on Thursday and is considered as the president’s first known public trip outside Damascus since March 2012.
"President Assad is currently inspecting a unit of our armed forces in Daraya on the occasion of Army Day," Syria’s state television said.Assad sent an Army Day message to Syrian troops saying he was “sure of victory” over the foreign-backed militants fighting against his government. “If we in Syria were not sure of victory, we would not have had the will to resist nor been able to persevere in the face of more than two years of aggression,” he stated. Daraya was held by foreign-backed militants for some months, but the Syrian troops took full control of the town after clashes with the militants earlier this year. On July 31, Syrian forces gained control of the strategic Khaldiyeh District in the western city of Homs. Following the achievement, the Syrian army said it was focusing on regaining control over the districts of Varsha, Qarabis, and Jouret el-Shayah in Homs. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. Many of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals. According to the reports, the West and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. SAB/KA