Damascus, July 2 (Xinhua-ANI): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad endorsed Monday a counter-terrorism law, which came just days after he announced that his country is at a state of real war.
The law, announced by state-run SANA news agency, says that punitive actions would be leveled against anyone proven to have committed acts related to terrorism.
The move came just days after Assad said his country is at a state of real war, adding that "the responsibility of the Syrian government is to protect all our residents. We have the responsibility to annihilate terrorists in every corner of the country."
Assad's statement reflects his determination to go on with military operation, which the Syrian forces have started more than three weeks ago against areas that house armed oppositional groups Syria blame for a series of killings, sabotaging acts and kidnappings.
Armed groups also escalated their violent acts against Syrian forces amid daily reports of the killing of tens of police and army personnel.
Earlier in the day, an al-Qaida-inspired group claimed responsibility for the recent attack on the headquarters of the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV station that killed seven people, according to SANA.
Syria's situation on ground is severely tensed with the occurrence of fierce clashes on daily bases between armed rebels, who insist on fighting till the end, and the government troops.
An official at the Syrian Red Crescent said in a statement to Xinhua Sunday that a team grouping members of the Red Crescent and International Red Cross entered the suburb of Douma to assess the humanitarian need there after the area witnessed severe clashes over the past days amid reports that the city is now clean of armed rebels and under the government forces' control.
On the opposition side, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said that 15 people were killed at the central town of Duma in Hama province, assigning accusation on pro-government militias. It said that at least 20 people were killed since early hours Monday. The activists' account was impossible of being independently checked.
Syria defends its crackdown, saying foreign-backed extremists are fighting on its soil. The government has provided names of foreign fighters that have recently been arrested, mainly Tunisians, with affiliations to al-Qaida. (Xinhua-ANI)