"It seems to some people that if we conducted the reforms earlier, the situation would have been better now. It's not right for one reason -- terrorists spit on reforms. They are not fighting for reforms, they are fighting to bring terror," he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government distanced itself from a Washington Post report that said more and better weapons are making their way into the hand of Syrian rebels.
The newspaper, citing unnamed officials and opposition activists, reported the arms are being paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States.
"The United States has made a decision to provide nonlethal support to civilian members of the opposition," Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman told reporters Wednesday. "... But with regard to any assertions with regard to lethal, we are not involved in that."
The United States has expressed reservations about arming rebels, citing division among the opposition.
Meanwhile, division among Syrian opposition groups deepened Thursday with the Syrian National Council, widely perceived by Western countries as the primary coalition for the opposition, coming under fire by a leading opposition activist group.
The LCC called the national council a "failure," saying it will withdraw from the group. The council has been under fire for failing to unify the opposition groups and bring in international support.