International

Mar 27, 2013 5:55 AM by Associated Press

Syria's leader appeals to African summit for help

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Syria's embattled and increasingly isolated president has appealed to the leaders of a five-nation economic forum meeting in South Africa to help end his country's two-year conflict.

President Bashar Assad says Syria is being subjected to "acts of terrorism backed by Arab, regional and Western nations" - a reference to the Western-backed opposition fighting his regime.

Assad's appeal came in a letter sent to the BRICS forum of emerging market powers. The World Bank says these countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are driving global economic growth.

Assad's letter was published by Syria's state media on Tuesday.

Syria's crisis began in March 2011 with protests demanding Assad's ouster. Following a harsh government crackdown, the uprising steadily grew more violent until it became a full-fledged civil war.

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