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.