Assad: We Can’t Be in Alliance with Countries That Support Terrorism
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed that Damascus doesn’t want to join the US-led coalition against the ISIL group because this alliance has been supporting terrorism.
However, the Syrian leader said that Damascus has been receiving information about the coalition strikes through Iraq.
In an interview with the BBC, President Assad ruled out joining the anti-ISIL international coalition.Assad in interview with BBC
“No, definitely we cannot and we don’t have the will and we don’t want, for one simple reason – because we cannot be in an alliance with countries which support terrorism,” he said.
Assad stressed that he was not against co-operating over ISIL with other countries. But he would refuse to talk with American officials, he said, “because they don’t talk to anyone, unless he’s a puppet”, an apparent reference to Western- and Gulf Arab-backed opposition leaders.
“And they easily trample over international law, which is about our sovereignty now, so they don’t talk to us, we don’t talk to them.”
The president did concede, however, that his government had been indirectly receiving information via third parties about sorties by US and Arab warplanes over Syria.
“Sometimes, they convey a message, a general message, but there’s nothing tactical,” he said, adding: “There is no dialogue. There’s, let’s say, information, but not dialogue.”
“Efforts to Train Moderate Rebels Pipe-Dream”
Meanwhile, the Syrian leader stressed that efforts to train the so-called “moderate rebels” was a “pipe-dream,” arguing that there were no moderates, only extremists from ISIL and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front.
He said that US President Barack Obama himself considered this issue as a “fantasy.”
“They (West) said it’s a fantasy, he (Obama) said it’s a fantasy, we all know it’s a fantasy. Even in the Western media outlets, they are talking about the ISIL, and al-Nusra, and Al Qaeda affiliates, organizations and groups prevailing. It doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s illogical, unrealistic to suddenly shift from moderate to extremist. They have the same grassroots.”