Assad: Russia is the only real force against ISIS in Syria

In an interview with the Chinese Phoenix News television channel, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called Russia the only force that is effectively fighting against the Islamic State.

 According to Assad, while U.S. President Donald Trump has called the fight with the so-called Islamic State one of his political priorities, Damascus has not seen any concrete actions to combat jihadists from the US.

"The only serious side in this respect is Russia, which is effectively fighting ISIS in cooperation with us," Assad said.

He also noted that he does not consider the presence of U.S. troops in Syria a guarantee of victory over ISIS. "The Americans have lost almost all wars. They were defeated in Iraq, in the end they had to withdraw their forces," he said.

When asked about relations with the Trump administration, Assad responded that interaction between Syrian authorities and the Trump team is only theoretically still possible. "In theory, yes, but in practice, not yet, because there is no official connection between Syria and the U.S. Even the raids against IS ... occurred without consulting the Syrian army or the Syrian government, which is illegal," he said.

Assad also said that although Damascus did not expect any result from the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, they eventually turned out to be a "step forward" on the long way to resolve the crisis.

Earlier, Ankara stated that Turkey would conclude its military operations in Syria only after the capture of the Syrian city of Manbij.

  Syria, Russia, Assad


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