Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reiterated his government’s determination to resolve the crisis in the country through combating terrorism and allowing a political process to flourish.
Speaking to a joint Russian-European delegation headed by Russian State Duma Deputy Chairman Vladimir Vasilyev in Damascus on Monday, Assad said Syria is going ahead with its vision to end the crisis through two tracks: combating terrorism and the political process.
He noted that Damascus is open to dialogue with anyone, adding that there is an ongoing amnesty offer on the table for militants who lay down their arms.
The Syrian leader also slammed countries that are interfering in Syria’s internal affairs and supporting terrorist groups.
“Any military operation in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government is illegal, and I said if there’s any troops on the Syrian soil, this is an invasion, whether to liberate al-Raqqa or any other place. This is first. Second, we all know that the coalition has never been serious about fighting Daesh or the terrorists, so we have to think about the real intention of the whole plan, if there’s a plan to liberate al-Raqqa,” Assad told reporters.
A ceasefire between government forces and militants agreed late last year has been largely held across the country. However, the truce does not include Daesh and Jabhat Fath al-Sham terrorist groups.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over the past few months, the Takfiri elements operating in Syria have suffered major setbacks as the Syrian military has managed to liberate several regions.