Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says foreign-backed militants fighting against the government are systematically destroying the country’s infrastructure.
The Syrian president made the remarks at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday following the oath-taking ceremony of the new government.
He also called for “collective action” by the state and Syrian citizens to limit the negative effects of the country’s crisis.
Since the beginning of unrest in Syria, militants have attacked and damaged many industrial and public infrastructures, including facilities providing electricity which have caused power cuts.
Repeated terrorist attacks on oil and gas pipelines have also resulted in fuel shortage in Syria.
According to Syria’s official news agency SANA, militant attacks against the power infrastructure only have cost the Syrian economy USD 3.1 billion.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
In a key speech on January 6, Assad called for an end to the terrorist operations inside Syria and urged “concerned states and parties” to stop funding, arming and harboring militants.
He added that his government is always ready to hold talks with the opposition and would call for a “comprehensive national dialog” after foreign parties end their support for the militants and the terrorist activities cease in the country.