Syrian President Bashar Assad said that Damascus has nearly won the seven-year war, stressing that every iota of the Syrian land will be liberated.
In an interview with Russia Today, President Assad said Moscow deterred the West from launching a devastating country-wide air strike last month.
“With every move forward for the Syrian Army, and for the political process, and for the whole situation, our enemies and our opponents, mainly the West led by the United States and their puppets in Europe and in our region, they try to make it farther – either by supporting more terrorism, bringing more terrorists to Syria, or by hindering the political process,” Assad told RT.
Without outside funding, terrorists could be subdued within a year, the Syrian leader stressed.
Meanwhile, Assad said that Washington is “losing its cards” and can be brought to the negotiating table, after having to switch its support between the various anti-government factions, and the recapture of the key cities of Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor by government forces over the past two years.
“Our challenge is how can we close this gap between their plans and our plans,” Assad said.
The Syrian leader noted, however, that the closer the deadly conflict comes to an end, the more desperate his opponents’ measures become. He cited the alleged Douma chemical weapon attack (“Is it in our interest? Why, and why now?” he asked) as a last-ditch Western attempt to sway international opinion – one failed.
“They told a story, they told a lie, and the public opinion around the world and in the West didn’t buy their story, but they couldn’t withdraw. So, they had to do something, even on a smaller scale,” Assad said, referring to the tripartite aggression by US, UK, and France against Syria on April 14.
He pointed out that Moscow also played a role in restraining Washington’s influence and meddling in the region, both generally since its invitation to aid Damascus in September 2015, and in this particular incident.
“We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces, and fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership,” Assad told RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev.
“We need the Russian support, but we need at the same time to avoid the American foolishness in order to be able to stabilize our country.”
Despite praising the diplomatic efforts of the Astana peace process, and emphasizing the government’s own drive to win the hearts and minds by restoring order in liberated areas, and initiating a process of reconciliation, Assad said there are still some victories that will have to be won on the battlefield.