Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) talking to Expressen's reporter in Damascus. (Expressen)
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Damascus, Syria –In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen published on Friday, Assad said that the military and massive financial support provided by Turkey to the “armed terrorist groups” is the main factor that led to the fall of the city of Idlib last March. Assad stated that the external support for the Syrian opposition fighters was “the main reason” behind the fall of Idlib city in the northwestern part of the country, stressing that the Syrian regime’s military capabilities are no longer as in the past, after four years of war.
Regarding the Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese support received by the Syrian regime’s army, Assad reiterated that the Syrian Arab military capabilities are no longer as they were in the past, “especially after four years of continuous war”.
“It is our right as a popularly elected government in Syria, to ask for support from any country or organization that can help us in the eradication of terrorism,” he said.
Responding to accusations against his forces on the re-use of chemical weapons in its war with the opposition, Assad said: “These claims are part of a propaganda war against Syria. Western officials are trying to promote lies to the public; this does not mean that we do not make mistakes, but the Western perspective doesn’t reflect the reality of the region.”
“The talk about the use of chemical weapons is part of the propaganda war, and that’s why conflicting figures and statistics emerge every once in a while regarding those weapons,” he added.
Talking about human rights in Syria, Assad stressed that torture in Syria “is not a systematic policy, but merely individual acts, and the perpetrators are being held accountable before the law”.
Regarding the initiative of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to freeze fighting in war-torn Syrian areas, Assad said that any plan for a political solution in Syria will fail because of external interference, “and this is what happened with the previous initiative aimed at freezing the fighting in Aleppo, because Turkey threw its weight against the peace initiative by the use of armed terrorist groups”.
Noteworthy, this is the fifth press interview given by Bashar al-Assad in less than three months. According to opposition activists, this series of interviews given by Assad to convey his regime’s perspective to the West, and improve public opinion, especially concerning the war against terrorism.
Reporting by: Mohammed Darwish
Source: ARA News