Bashar al-Assad to Make Rare Public Speech Sunday

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to make his first public speech since June on Saturday, but no one's really sure what he's going to say. 

Syrian state news agency SANA announced Assad would be delivering a speech Sunday on the "latest developments in Syria and the region." It will be the first time Assad has spoken in public since sometime in June. The last comments he made to a news organisation were in November. He barely goes outside anymore, let alone speaks in public or to the press. So this is kind of a big deal. 

But what the heck are the "latest developments" in the region he's talking about? It could be any number of things, like how Russia's abandoned him and wants him to start negotiating with the rebels, or how the death toll in the conflict passed 60,000 people, or how he's been accused of using poisonous gas on the rebels, or accused of bombing starving citizens in line for bread. Those are some of the latest developments in Syria, at least.

Assad has never indicated even a willingness to talk about him stepping down through the whole conflict. He told U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi as recently as last weekend that he has no intention of giving up power. So, maybe someone's gotten to him and he's announcing his resignation, or maybe he's just reaffirming again that he won't be going anywhere any time soon. That's all we know for now. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.