Syria's Assad says war still not won but West's plots foiled

Syria's Assad says war still not won but West's plots foiled

The government has sought to present the country as slowly returning to normalcy after six years of war.

Following months of steady military advances, Syria's government has sought to portray itself as the victor in a war that is winding down, and is looking ahead to reconstruction.

Five people were killed Sunday, according to an NGO when a rocket landed near the entrance of the worldwide Fair of Damascus, inaugurated this week after an absence of five years due to the war in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said six people, including two women, were killed and about a dozen more wounded in the rocket fire near the entrance to the fair.

"We are preparing to receive visitors when I heard an explosion (...) and then I saw smoke on the side of the entrance of the exhibition, told his side to the AFP, a witness, Iyad al-Jabiri, Syrian, 39-year-old who works in a booth of textile".

The state TV also reported the attack, but stopped short of giving a death toll.

The United States and European countries, which maintain economic sanctions on the Assad regime, were not officially invited, although a handful of Western companies are attending on an individual basis.

The fair, which opened earlier on Thursday this week and is scheduled to last for 10 days, had been hosted by Syria since 1954 and was among the most prestigious business events in the Arab world before the armed conflict erupted in 2011.

"These facts are what forced them (the West) to change their stance", Assad said. The plan included a cessation of hostilities, a halt to Syrian government air raids over designated areas, and provisions for humanitarian aid access.

"Any Turkish citizen who is in Syria without permission from the Syrian government will be considered an occupier", Assad said.