BEIRUT - A member of Syria's main opposition group says President Bashar Assad's latest comments aim to explain his security forces' failure in putting down the country's uprising.

British-based opposition activist Ausama Monajed, who is a member of the Syrian National Council, said in a telephone interview Thursday that Assad's statements tried to "justify the failure of the security solution."

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Assad said in an interview broadcast Wednesday that his armed forces will need time to defeat the rebels, claiming that his army is fighting a regional and global war. Damascus says the rebels are backed by other Arab states.

Despite their heavy arms, Assad's troops are stalemated with the rebels in key cities and other fronts across the country.