In an interview on Syrian national television on Sunday night President Assad laid out his position on the current situation in Syria. In his view the regime is in no danger of falling to the protests and the security institutions continue to have a legitimate role to play in maintaining security. He expressed defiance towards calls for him to step aside accusing the ‘colonial powers’ of seeking to weaken Syria rather than give it space to reform and warned that ‘any action against Syria will have huge consequences that they [foreign countries] can never tolerate’.
Finally, he again raised the question of political reform. He suggested that a law on forming political parties would be issued next week and that elections for the parliament could be held in February 2012. The question remains as to whether such reforms will have any impact on the protests in Syria. Spurred on by international condemnation of the Syrian regime, moves towards reform are unlikely to appease protesters who have heard talk of reform before but not seen it materialise.