"All our policies, orders and all areas will be aimed at winning this war," he said during a speech to the new cabinet in damascus, according to reports by the state news agency sana. According to activists, at least 87 civilians were killed in fighting and attacks by government forces across the country on the same day. In addition, he said, a total of 49 insurgent fighters and government soldiers were killed.
Meanwhile, the shooting down of a turkish military jet by syrian forces has alarmed international diplomacy. Nato and turkey issued strong warnings to assad regime. In a special meeting of the nato council requested by turkey, the alliance condemned the shootdown as "unacceptable". Such a military action must not be repeated, it said in brussels on tuesday.
Russia called on syria and turkey to exercise restraint. "It is important that this incident is not seen as a provocation or intentional, nor does it lead to further destabilization," said agency spokesman alexander lukashevich in moscow. The UN veto power russia is "concerned" about the current development, he stressed, according to the agency interfax.
The washington administration demonstratively sided with nato partner turkey: the u.S. Was prepared to accept any request from ankara for military support, said department spokeswoman victoria nuland. "Turkey is our ally."
Turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan pledged support to syrian people until "dictator" assad is liberated. "The syrians are our brothers," erdogan said in a televised speech in ankara. "Until the syrian people have freed themselves from this dictator with bloodstained hands, turkey will provide them (the people) with all kinds of support."
Difficult relations between turkey and syria have reached a low point. Erdogan spoke of a cowardly act by the assad regime. Syria had not issued a warning before the launch and had not attempted to contact turkey. "This was a deliberate act of planned hostility"."
In the event of further incidents, his country will retaliate with force, the head of government said. "We have changed the rules of engagement of the turkish forces," erdogan said. "Any syrian soldier approaching the turkish border is now considered a threat."The wrath of turkey could be enormous.
Both pilots were killed in the downing on friday. According to turkish reports, the syrian militars also attacked a rescue plane that was on duty at the site of the accident. But they had stopped the attack after turkish intervention.
Nato secretary-general anders fogh rasmussen warned: "it is my clear expectation that the situation will not escalate any further." "what we have seen is completely unacceptable. And I expect syria to take all necessary measures to prevent such a thing in the future," he told journalists.
When asked what nato would do if syria attacked a turkish aircraft again, rasmussen replied cautiously: "should anything happen, the allies will deal with the development. We are monitoring the situation closely. And if necessary, we will advise what else could be done."
Meanwhile, syria continues to descend into violence and chaos. According to activists, a total of more than 130 people were killed on tuesday. Most of the casualties were in the area around the capital damascus, the syrian observatory for human rights reported. Many deaths also reported from idlib province in the northwest and daraa in the south.
Information is difficult to verify independently because the assad regime does not allow the media access to the scene.