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SYRIA Assad to Make Rare Speech Handout / Reuters

Assad to Make Rare Speech

Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad will make a rare public address on Tuesday amid ongoing bloodshed—despite the presence of Arab League observers. State media declined to give details other than that Assad will address “international issues and international and regional developments." The speech comes two days after the Arab League stopped short of asking the U.N. to help end the nearly yearlong crackdown. While 165 Arab League observers have been in Syria to oversee a peace plan and monitor the government’s actions for two weeks now, hundreds of protesters have allegedly died since they arrived. Last month, the U.N. said more than 5,000 civilians had been killed since protests began last January.

January 9, 2012 11:56 PM