President Bashar al-Assad says Western countries follow a policy of double standards toward Syria, dealing secretly with his government while aiding militants to topple him at the same time.
“They attack us politically and then they send officials to deal with us under the table, especially the security, including your (the Australian) government,” Assad told Australia’s SBS News in an interview to be aired on Friday.
Western countries follow what the US is telling them to do, the president said in remarks that were carried by Syrian state media.
“They don’t want to upset the United States. Actually most of the western officials they only repeat what the United States want them to say. This is the reality,” President Assad said.
Western powers have supported militants fighting to overthrow Assad in a war now in its sixth year, which has claimed more than 400,000 Syrian lives, according to the UN special envoy to Syria.
The government is fighting militants coming from scores of countries, including Europe, the US and Australia, and has vowed to battle on until Damascus regains control of all of Syria.
The West and its regional allies, most notably Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, have been funneling monetary and battleground means to the militants who have been fighting the Syrian government since 2011.
Western calls for Assad’s ouster have become ever more muted as they become preoccupied with the rise of Daesh and other Takfiri groups striking at the heart of Europe.
According to the British daily The Telegraph, independent sources have separately confirmed that President Assad has received visits from government officials.
On Thursday, it was reported that the United States is seeking to establish a new military alliance with Russia in Syria that would see the two countries join forces in combating Takfiri groups.
The two countries have been supporting opposite sides in Syria, with Russia aiding the Syrian government with airstrikes to push Takfiri militants from several key areas, including the second city of Aleppo.
Until now, the US has been hampering a Russian bid to place a number of militant groups, including al-Qaeda-lined Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, on the UN terror list.
In June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Washington had asked Moscow to stop conducting airstrikes against the al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria.
Al-Nusra and other Takfiri terrorists hold most of the northwestern province of Idlib and parts of neighboring Aleppo province.
Last year the Pentagon launched a $500 million “train-and-equip” program to train and arm some 5,400 militants a year as a proxy ground force in Syria, but it yielded only a small cadre of under 200 militants before it was officially pulled.