Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the government will pardon militants who turn in their weapons, stressing that the policy has been exercised by Damascus since the beginning of the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
“If they (terrorists) want to return to normal life and lay down arms, they will get amnesty… We have been doing this for… years I think. Let alone the country’s win in the war,” Assad told the Greek ITV channel on Wednesday as cited by the official SANA news agency.
Asked whether he intends to issue a general amnesty if the government wins the ongoing foreign-sponsored war on Syria, Assad said, “It is not about my victory…The most important thing is the victory of the Syrian people because it is a war waged against the Syrian people.”
Amnesty “is virtually in effect” and Damascus has offered it “as an option for terrorists” since the start of terrorist acts in Syria, the Syrian president added.
“Amnesty is… a good option to help those people who took up arms for different reasons to return to normal life… to go to political institutions,… to head to the polls,… to go for any kind of political measures available in any country,” he further pointed out.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies.
People inspect damage at a site after it was hit by shelling carried out by militants at Syrian government-held areas of Aleppo in this handout picture provided by Syria’s SANA news agency on July 11, 2016. ©Reuters
The Takfiri terrorists operating in the Arab country have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army has managed to liberate a number of areas from the grip of the extremists.
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.