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Assad Vows to Declare Victory Soon, Slams Arab League for ‘Spreading Sectarian Divisions’

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday accused foreign parties of seeking to destabilize Syria but stressed that he would not step down over increased demonstrations against him.

"We will declare victory soon," he said in a speech at Damascus University broadcast live on state television.

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Syrian Forces Kill 18 Civilians, 3 Army Deserters

Syrian security forces on Monday killed 21 people across the country, 13 of them in the flashpoint central province of Homs, activists said.

The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said regime troops killed eighteen civilians and three army defectors, “nine of them under torture.”

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Jumblat Slams 'Stupidity' of Some Officials over Qaida Remarks

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat accused on Monday officials in Lebanon of resorting to claiming that the al-Qaida terrorist group had infiltrated in order to serve their interests.

He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa magazine: “The stupidity of those individuals did not take into account the sensitivity of the situation in the region when they said that al-Qaida had entered the town of Arsal.”

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Sami Gemayel: Any Foreign Soldier Who Crosses into Lebanon Must Be Immediately Fired at

Phalange Party MP Sami Gemayel criticized on Monday the Syrian army’s infiltration of Lebanese territories, calling on the Defense Ministry and Lebanese army to fulfill their duties in confronting the violations.

He said: “The army should perform its constitutional and legal responsibilities towards the Lebanese people and immediately open fire at any foreign soldier who crosses into the country.”

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Bulgaria Reportedly Foils Attack on Israelis amid Concern over Hizbullah Vengeance

Israel is concerned Hizbullah will try to attack Israelis overseas in the coming weeks and ahead of the fourth anniversary of the assassination of the party’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Syria on Feb. 12, 2008. Hizbullah has accused Israel's intelligence service Mossad of assassinating him.

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Arab League Urges Syria to End Violence, Says Observer Mission to Continue

Arab ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday gave observers in Syria the green light to continue their mission and called for an "immediate" end to the violence there.

The Arab ministerial committee on Syria "has decided to give Arab League observers the necessary time to continue their mission according to the protocol," which states that the mission is for the duration of one month.

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In Harissa, Independent Christians Agree to Draft 'Plan for the Future'

A group of independent Christian figures on Sunday held a meeting at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa to “discuss the national and political affairs and the outcome of the alignments and conflicts in Lebanon, inside and outside state institutes, and in the Arab world,” state-run National News Agency reported.

The conferees also discussed “the situations the Christians are going through, especially in the hotspots, and the repercussions of the sudden changes on their freedoms and existence.”

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Soaid Demands al-Hout to Clarify Statements about al-Fajr Brigades

March 14 General Secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid expressed surprise on Saturday over the presence of an armed branch affiliated in the Jamaa Islamiyah.

“We stress that the March 14 forces are struggling to move to the state which is the only competent side tasked with defending Lebanon,” a statement by Soaid said.

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Hizbullah Slams Ban’s Visit, Describes Feltman as ‘Messenger of Evil’

Senior Hizbullah official Mohammed Yazbek slammed on Saturday United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon’s scheduled visit.

“Ban, (U.N. Special Envoy) Terri Rod Larson, and the messenger of evil and conspiracy’s (U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs) Jeffrey Feltman are unwelcomed in Lebanon,” Yazebk said.

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Syria Buries Damascus Dead as Security Forces Kill 23 Civilians

23 Syrian civilians were shot dead on Saturday as the regime held funerals on Saturday for 26 people killed in a Damascus suicide bombing that it called a "terrorist attack," promising an "iron fist" response to the second such incident in two weeks.

Local Coordination Committees announced that Syrian security forces shot dead 23 civilians including a child.

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