Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's defense minister says the rebellion against President Bashar Assad's regime will be crushed.
Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij told state-run Syrian TV on Saturday that violence in the country will end soon, as troops are determined to bring back stability.
Al-Freij rarely makes public statements. His remarks came as Syrian troops launched a major offensive to retake rebel-held areas in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Homs.
In comments marking the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, al-Freij said the government is ready to give amnesty to rebels who "repent."