Aug. 21 - Syrian President says unrest in Syria has become more militant in recent weeks but he is ''not worried''. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
In an interview with Syrian state TV, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he was not worried about his country's security threat and he expects to hold parliamentary elections early next year. SOUNDBITE: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad saying : (Arabic) "This might seem dangerous, regarding your question about the security perspective. However, we can deal with this and we have begun to make achievements recently. We won't announce now because it's necessary for us to succeed with maintaining security. However, I am not worried about these events." Assad offered no specific timetable for an election. SOUNDBITE: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad saying : (Arabic) "There is no approximate timetable this week. Over the next few days until Thursday I believe we must, regarding the law of political parties, put together the committee concerned with accepting the proposals of political parties. This committee is composed of a judge, the minister of interior, and three other independent figures," Assad's appearance comes as waves of protests sweep through Syria, which has been documented by amateur video which can not be independently verified by Reuters. The United States and European allies are calling on Assad to quit. The UN says his crackdown has killed around 2,000 people. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters