Speaking to Damascus notables in a rare public address on Sunday, embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed confidence in the future of what he called the “struggle against terrorism” in Syria, stressing the international nature of the war, official regime news agency SANA reported.

The Syrian regime leader praised the Syrian Arab Army in the speech and characterized recent losses as tactical withdrawals, also stressing the importance of Iran and Hezbollah’s support.

A photo posted by SANA on Sunday shows smiling Syrian soldiers with accompanying text quoting Assad in the speech as saying “there is no army in the world that fights more than a hundred countries on earth and does not become tired,” but that defeat is not in the Syrian army’s dictionary.

President Assad pointed out the international importance of Russia and China’s support for the regime, saying that they had “formed a security valve which prevented the [use] of the Security Council to threaten the Syrian people and as a platform for aggression.”

However, while characterizing the war as the result of international plotting, Assad called on individual Syrians for support.

“We as Syrians will not be able to rescue Syria from what is being plotted for it until each one of us feels that this battle is his own, and becomes concerned with his homeland, city, village and house before all others, and is concerned with the soil of his country and the preservation of coexistence.”

Photo courtesy of SANA.