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Russian President Vladimir Putin left shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al Assad
13 June, 2018, 08:11
Mr. Assad also reiterated his long-held position that the West is fuelling the war with the aim of toppling him.
"They (the Russians) never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences", he said, according to SANA's transcript of the interview, given in English.
He said the involvement of foreign powers such as Britain, the United States and France was prolonging the conflict and had slowed down a resolution to the situation in rebel-held areas of southwestern Syria.
"We were about to achieve reconciliation in the southern part of Syria only two weeks ago, but the West interfered and asked the terrorists not to follow this path in order to prolong the Syrian conflict", Assad said, Al Jazeera reported. The Syrian government refers to all groups opposed to its rule as terrorists. Assad admitted that he has had disagreements with Russian Federation and Iran- which also supports the Syrian army-throughout the seven-year conflict.
In his interview, Assad denied Moscow had ever had prior knowledge of such strikes, despite close cooperation between Israel and Russian Federation.
"Russia never coordinated with anyone against Syria, either politically or militarily, and that's [a] contradiction", he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday that his recent trip to Europe last week had resulted in "broad worldwide agreement" that Iranian forces must withdraw from Syria.
Syrian President Bashar Assad denied Russian Federation coordinated Israeli strikes inside his country, noting it was impossible for the Putin regime to both aid the Syrian Army and, at the same time, "work with our enemies in order to destroy our army".
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal released on Friday, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militants near Israel's northern border are disguising themselves as Syrian forces in order to avoid detection by the Israeli Air Force. At the same time, both groups are openly hostile toward Israel, and the Israeli military has preemptively struck when it feels threatened by their presence close to its border.
Assad lambasted the American and British interventions, saying they were "breaching the sovereignty of Syria". Azam also claimed that numerous Iranian-backed militants are given official ID cards from the Syrian government that belonged to now dead Syrian government forces.
"The whole approach toward Syria in the West is, 'we have to change this government; we have to demonise this President, because they don't suit our policies anymore.'" he said.