Assad speech (BBC Video)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed a foreign conspiracy for trying to destabilize Syria, as a mass uprising against his rule continues. The "external conspiracy is clear to everybody," Assad said in his first public remarks in months. He said elections could be held later this year but "terrorism", he added, would be met with an "iron fist". Meanwhile the Arab League said it held the government "totally responsible" for attacks against its observers. The BBC's Lina Sinjab is in Damascus.

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