Syria will remain heart of Arabism, defiant Assad says
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Syria will remain heart of Arabism, defiant Assad says

Jordanians visit Damascus to express support for embattled regime, tell president spilled blood will 'write Syria's history'

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks at the Opera House in central Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 (Photo credit: AP/SANA)
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad gestures as he speaks at the Opera House in central Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013 (Photo credit: AP/SANA)

Syria will remain “the beating heart of Arabism,” President Bashar Assad said on Monday at a meeting with Jordanian activists who came to voice their support of him and his regime.

The Jordanian lawyers, doctors and engineers met with Assad in Damascus to show backing “for the Syrian people in their current ordeal,” Syria’s state-run Arab News Agency reported. The group told Assad “honest Arabs” will back Syria’s fight to defeat “the conspiracies against it.”

Assad thanked the delegation, saying Syria would “not relinquish its principles no matter how much pressure is exerted upon it,” and declaring that his country would remain “the beating heart of Arabism” despite all opposition.

Syria is the midst of a nearly two-year-old civil war that has seen some 60,000 people killed and the country ravaged by near-constant battles. Assad, who is resisting international calls for him to step down, has painted the rebels as foreign-backed terrorists attempting to topple his regime and kill civilians.

The Jordanian supporters, members of a shrinking cadre of backers of Assad, said the blood spilled in the country was in defense of the Arab world and would “write Syria’s victory.”

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