On Monday night, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcomed a group of Western visitors into his palace, where he "radiated confidence and friendliness". The group of visitors consisted of British and American journalists and policy analysts. Assad rejected any personal responsibility for half of his citizens being driven from their homes and nearly half a million of his citizens being killed in the chaotic civil war. Assad instead blames the United States and the Islamic militants. Assad called himself just a headline, the bad president and the bad guy who is killing the good guys. He said that the real reason is toppling the government, because the Syrian government does not fit the criteria of the United States. Assad ruled out any possibility of political change and declared that he planned to remain Syria's president until his third seven-year term ends in 2021.
- Taylor Sikora