They're "terrorists" and "criminals." They want Syria's government ousted. He vowed to defeat them. He called for "full national mobilization."
"We meet today and suffering is overwhelming Syrian land. There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country. The nation is for all and we all must protect it."
"These are the enemies of the people, the enemies of God," he said. "Eventually they resorted to terrorism to terrorize the people."
"They call it a revolution, but it has nothing to do with revolution. A revolution needs thinkers. These are a bunch of criminals."
"The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (opposition forces), an end to terrorist operations, and controlling the borders."
"We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West," he stressed.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported what he said in detail.
He prefers responsible conflict resolution. He urged it all along. Mutually agreed on ceasefire is essential. Washington and key NATO partners spurn it.
For months, Assad made good faith efforts. A year ago, Syria's constitution was rewritten. It was put to a popular referendum.
Despite opposition boycotts, threats, anti-Assad media campaigns, and turnout hampered in violence-torn areas, 89.4% of eligible voters approved it. Another 9% opposed, and 1.2% of ballots were invalid.
It includes 157 articles. Key reforms were instituted. They include political pluralism established for the first time. Presidential term limits and press freedom were mandated.
Last May, first time ever legislative elections were held. Doing so was a milestone political event. Independent candidates participated.
Despite ongoing insurgent violence, turnout was high. Voting went smoothly. Independent monitors supervised the process. They included intellectuals, legislators and judicial authorities from other countries.
Ba'ath party members won a 60% majority. Previously they held just over 50% control. With support from independent MPs, they comprise 90% of Syria's parliament. Opposition party members were also elected.
Assad said nothing about stepping down. He, Russia, China, Iran, and other sources say Syrians alone should choose their government.