Syria shows defiance; UN team tours near Damascus

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FILE - This Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009 file photo shows Syrian President Bashar Assad, seen, during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, unseen, at the presidency in Tehran, Iran. Syria's state news agency has quoted Assad as saying Syria will defend itself against any aggression. Assad's comments Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 come at a time of rising expectations of a punitive military strike against Syria by Western powers, in response to suspected poison gas attacks near Damascus last week. The group Doctors Without Borders says the attacks killed 355 people. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)