Syria's President Bashar Assad slammed the West and called for political dialogue to end the fighting and for peace talks to begin, during a rare speech made Monday.
Assad was mobbed by supporters at his first address in more than half a year.
"Regional and Western states should stop funding, arming and sheltering rebels who should also stop all acts of terrorism," Assad said. ''We will negotiate with the ones that are behind those puppets. We want a dialogue with the master, not with the servants."
The United Nations said the civil war has left more than 60,000 Syrians dead. But assad claims his forces are killing terrorists, not civilians.