Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said confirmed Wednesday that US-led airstrikes targeting “ISIL” terrorist group militants in his country are neither serious nor efficient.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
He further viewed that they have failed to produce any tangible results.
Al-Assad also accused Turkey of continuing to provide direct support to the militants.
Assad spoke in a rare interview conducted Nov. 28 in Damascus with Paris Match magazine, his first in months.
“You can’t end terrorism with aerial strikes. Troops on the ground that know the land and can react are essential,” the magazine quoted al-Assad as saying. “That is why there haven’t been any tangible results in the two months of strikes led by the coalition.”
The full interview was expected to be published Thursday.
In parallel, the head of the Syrian state highlighted that the US strikes “would of course have helped had they been serious and efficient.”
“We are running the ground battles against Daesh [“ISIL”], and we have noticed no change, especially with Turkey providing direct support to these regions,” he was quoted as saying.
Al-Assad has insisted throughout Syria’s nearly 4-year-old conflict that he has the Syrian army has been fighting foreign-inspired extremists and “terrorists”.
Asked by the magazine about whether he was afraid of suffering the same demise as former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein or Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, al-Assad reportedly replied: “The captain doesn’t think about death, or life, he thinks about saving his ship. If he thinks about sinking, everyone will die.”