Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has hailed continued victories by the army forces and allies against militants across the country, saying his government has weathered the worst part of the conflict and is now moving in the right direction.
The Syrian presidency released on Saturday an interview by Assad in Damascus to the India-based WION television station, in which Assad expressed satisfaction with the pace the pro-government forces were recapturing territories from militants across the Arab country.
“Unless the West and other countries and their allies, their puppets, support those extremists in… a very massive way, I’m sure the worst is behind us,” Assad stated.
“Things now are moving in the right direction, which is a better direction, because we are defeating the terrorists.”
Syrian military forces and allied fighters have recorded major gains against militants over the past few months with the most notable of them being the full liberation of the second-largest city of Aleppo in December 2016. Pro-government forces are now advancing in the southeast and east toward positions held by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group while the battle continues against other militants in the north and northwest.
Assad said in the interview that a peace initiative launched by Russia, Iran and Turkey had helped establish peace in some parts of Syria.
“Until this moment we haven’t had any real political initiative that could produce something, although Astana has achieved let’s say partial results through the recent de-escalation areas in Syria, which was positive,” he said, referring to a deal reached last month in the Kazakh capital that aims to eventually stop fighting in four zones in Syria.
The war in Syria began in March 2011 and has claimed more than 300,000 lives, according to estimates by reliable sources. The government blames the turmoil on certain governments in the Middle East and others in the West, saying if it was not for their support, the devastating militancy could have not spread across the Arab country.