Syrian President Basahr Al-Assad has said that his country is facing a "real war" and that he and his government will not be lenient with the people they say are responsible for the country's uprising.
He made the comments on Sunday (03.06.12) in his first speech to parliament since January.
It was also his first public address since the massarce in the village of Houla which claimed more than a hundred peolpe, many of them children. Both sides in the conflict blame each other but UN investigators say that they believe pro-regime forces were responsible for some of the bloodshed.
The massacre has put Syria under an even more intense level of scrutiny but Assad remains defiant saying that "A battle was forced on us, and the result was this bloodshed that we are seeing."
It is believed that as many as 13,000 people have been killed since the uprising began as part of the "Arab Spring" movement.