Damascus, Syria –Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Monday that the United States should reach an agreement with his regime regarding the international coalition’s airstrikes against militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) in Syria.
“We are ready to cooperate with any country that is serious about fighting terrorism, ” Assad told the Foreign Affairs Magazine.
The U.S.-led coalition has been striking locations of the IS militant group in Syria and Iraq for nearly five months. Washington reportedly informed the Syrian regime before starting strikes in Syria in September.
“Washington should pressure Turkey to prevent money and weapons entering from Turkey into northern Syria, and to legitimize its actions with Syria should begin by asking permission from our government to make such attacks,” Assad said.
“The format we can discuss later, but you start with permission. Is it an agreement? Is it a treaty? That’s another issue.”
The U.S. is planning to train moderate Syrian rebels to combat extremists on the ground. According to reports, about 100 American military experts are heading to the Syrian border to start the training this week.
Assad said the campaign should be backed by the Syrian army on the ground.
“The question you have to ask the Americans is, which troops are you going to depend on? Definitely, it has to be Syrian troops,” Assad said, describing opposition fighters as enemies of Syria.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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