BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to deliver a speech Sunday in a rare address to the nation, state media said, as rebels fighting to topple his regime pressed ahead with an offensive on the capital.
The official SANA news agency said in a brief statement Saturday that Assad would speak about the latest developments in Syria. The speech would be Assad's first since June, delivered amid intense fighting between government troops and rebels on the outskirts of Damascus.
Assad has rarely spoken in public since the uprising against him began in March 2011. In each of his previous speeches and interviews, the president has dug in his heels even as Western powers have moved to boost the opposition in Syria's civil war.