Istanbul, Turkey – The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that the air raids carried out by the U.S.-led international coalition against the radical group of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Syria, did not change the equation on the ground.
Conversely, the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, stated that these raids caused extensive damage to the Islamic State’s extremists, pointing out that the anti-IS campaign cannot last for years.
The Syrian president said in an interview with the French magazine Paris Match that it’s impossible to eliminate terrorism from the air.
“You cannot achieve good results on the ground if there are no ground forces carrying out simultaneous operations next to the U.S. airstrikes,” al-Assad said.
“What’s being said about the coalition’s strikes to help the Syrian regime in its fight against the opposition forces and IS group is not true. We are the real party to combat on the ground against IS, and nothing has changed. Turkey continues supporting directly the group in those areas,” al-Assad added.
The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in the first meeting of the Ministers of the international coalition, which includes more than sixty countries participating in the airstrikes against the IS group, that the strikes had weakened the leadership of the extremists and damaged their military capacities.
“The power of IS in Iraq is scattered as the Iraqi forces have regained control of areas around Mosul and Tikrit, with the participation of the Kurdish forces in the fighting, alongside Sunni tribal fighters,” Kerry said.
According to reports, the U.S.-led coalition carried out approximately 1000 strikes against IS militants in Syria and Iraq since July this year.
Reporting by: Mohammed al-Shami
Source: ARA News
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