President Bashar al-Assad has told parliament Syria will defeat those behind a "plot" against his country.
"Syria is a target of a big plot from outside," he said in his first speech since anti-government demonstrations erupted two weeks ago.
Mr Assad said he would continue on the path of reform for Syria - but did not announce the lifting of a state of emergency, as some had predicted.
Later, there were reports of protests and gunfire in the city of Latakia.
Reuters reports that hundreds of people chanting "freedom" had taken to the streets of Latakia, and that troops had fired warning shots in an attempt to get them to disperse.
There were also reports of more protests in the southern city of Deraa, where more than 60 people have been killed in unrest during the last two weeks.
In a speech interrupted several times by pledges of support, Mr Assad told parliament that people had been "duped" to go into the streets.
"Deraa is in the heart of every Syrian," Mr Assad said. It was on the front line of Syria's enemy, Israel, he added. BBC News