“Why do you have refugees in Europe? It’s a simple question: because of terrorism that’s being supported by Europe,” the Syrian president said.
“Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria. So, what goes around comes around,” he noted in an interview with Italian TV channel Rai News 24.
The interview was originally given to the Italian TV channel on November 26, 2019, and was expected to go on air on December 2; however, the channel refused to broadcast it, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA, which published the full text of the interview on December 9.
“They sent armaments; they created this chaos. That’s why a lot of people find it difficult to stay in Syria; millions of people couldn’t live here so they had to get out of Syria,” he added.
The Syrian president also warned about other repercussions of external support for terrorism in the Arab state.
“Definitely, whenever you have chaos, it’s going to be bad for everyone, it’s going to have side-effects and repercussions, especially when there is external interference,” he explained.
Many refugees take perilous sea journeys to reach European shores, from where they attempt to make their way into wealthier European Union states, particularly Germany, in search of better living conditions.
At least 15,000 people have lost their lives in Mediterranean crossings since 2014, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.