• Syrian Dictator Admits Regime Struggling Against ISIS, Rebels

    Syrian President Bashar Assad admitted regime forces are struggling to fend off Islamic State and other opposition forces in a televised speech Sunday.

    Troops have conceded certain areas to better defend more strategic locations, says Assad. Speaking from Damascus, Assad also acknowledged “many Syrians could not watch the address because of the lack of electricity in many areas and noted the economic hardships that people are facing after more than four years of an increasingly complex civil war,” The New York Times reported.

    The Syrian regime is supported by Iran. Iran spends an estimated $6 billion annually to support Assad. In mid-July, Iran reached an agreement with the international community to limit its nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, signaling it may increase support for the embattled Syrian president. (RELATED: World Powers Strike Historic Nuclear Agreement With Iran)

    Assad praised the agreement as a way for Iran to increase support for “just causes” in the region after it was signed by the P5+1, Reuters reported.

    Peaceful protests broke out in Syria during the Arab Spring in 2011, when popular uprisings toppled regimes from Tunisia to Yemen. But after Assad issued a harsh crackdown, unrest quickly spiraled into widespread violence. Now, multiple actors are fighting for control of Syria, including al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State.

    A Department of State spokesperson referred The Daily Caller News Foundation to previous statements that the agency isn’t willing to consider Assad staying in power in any future solution to the Syrian crisis. In late June, spokesperson John Kirby said, “Our position hasn’t changed. The Assad regime has lost legitimacy, has to go.”

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