Bashar al-Assad says West fueling Syria war, hoping to topple him

Bashar Assad

The Syrian leader also pointed fingers at the West for prolonging the conflict, suggesting that the United States, the United Kingdom and France have supported "terrorists" in his country. Syria is allied with Iran and Russian Federation, and has had turbulent relations with the West. Syria is technically at war with Israel, which occupies the Syrian Golan Heights, but a cease-fire has largely held since the 1970s.

"They (the Russians) never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences", he said, according to SANA's transcript of the interview, given in English.

"We were about to achieve reconciliation in the southern part of Syria only two weeks ago, but the West interfered and asked the terrorists not to follow this path in order to prolong the Syrian conflict", Assad said.

"We are fighting the terrorists, and those terrorists are supported by the British government, the French government, the Americans and their puppets whether in Europe or in our region", he said.

Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah has also fought alongside the military of President Bashar Al-Assad ever since an uprising against his family's decades-long rule slid into a civil war that has raged for some seven years.

"That's very natural, but at the end the only decision about what's going on in Syria and what's going to happen, it's a Syrian decision", Assad said.

Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes against Iranian forces in Syria last month.

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In his interview, Assad denied Moscow had ever had prior knowledge of such strikes, despite close cooperation between Israel and Russian Federation.

Syrian President Bashar Assad denied Russian Federation coordinated Israeli strikes inside his country, noting it was impossible for the Putin regime to both aid the Syrian Army and, at the same time, "work with our enemies in order to destroy our army".

Also Dia Hariri, an anti-regime activist from Daraa, stressed that Hezbollah and Iran have for years worked to establish themselves in the Syrian south, saying: "I do not think that Iran is ready to leave without a war after all these efforts within Syria".

In a calculated move to guarantee the presence of Iranian-backed militias in Syria without any frictions with the Israeli forces on its border, the Bashar al-Assad regime is disguising them in Syrian uniforms.

Numerous foreign fighters, who in addition to Lebanese and Iranians include Iraqis and Afghans, have been issued Syrian identification cards, said Azam.

"They want to exchange information despite their governments being politically against ours, so we said".

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