Assad: Russian operation changed situation in Syria for the better

Assad: Russian operation changed situation in Syria for the better

Since the beginning of the Russian operation in Syria, the situation in this country has improved significantly, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stated in an interview with the Chinese television channel 'Phoenix'.

"Recently, after the start of the participation of the Russian Air Force in the fight against terrorism, the situation in the country has changed for the better," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Speaking about the successes of the Russian Air Force, the President noted that they are largely caused by the interaction with the Syrian troops. "Russia is dependent on the land government troops of Syria. They cooperate with us," Assad said.

"The main difference is that the Americans do not cooperate in any way with any ground troops, while Russia is doing this," he stated, adding that "American troops do not maintain any contact with the Syrian government."

In this connection, the results of operations of Russian aviation and the United States are not comparable. "Before the beginning of the participation of Russian forces [in the operation in Syria] two months ago, for more than a year the US alliance carried out a campaign against the terrorists, and the result was that the terrorists seized more territory and gained even more recruits from around the world. With Russian participation, those terrorist groups began to retreat and thousands of them started to run from Syria to Turkey and other countries, some to Europe, some to Yemen and other places. It's a fact," the President of Syria stressed.

It created the conditions for the transition of government troops to an offensive against the militants of the IS "on all fronts."

A political settlement of the crisis was also discussed during the interview.

In this regard, Bashar Assad expressed his willingness to cooperate with the opposition for the sake of it. According to him, Russia, in the framework of the operations against the Islamic State, has contact with armed groups, but Syria supports this process.

"We also have to work with them, because Syria needs reconciliation. If you want reconciliation, at least local, you have to talk with armed men. Syria and Russia are cooperating in this process. Russia actually worked with them recently, and we support this process, since it is the most effective way to improve the situation and achieve peace in the future," the president stated.

At the same time, he stressed the need to distinguish between the genuine opposition and the terrorists and extremists. "Opposition is a political term, not a military one. When you take weapons, you are militant or terrorist, or whatever you want. If we are talking about the moderate opposition, we are talking about the political opposition, it exists in Syria and beyond its borders," the head of state said.

According to him, dialogue is necessary to resolve the crisis in Syria. Therefore, Damascus is ready for negotiations on various platforms, including in Moscow.

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