Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in comments broadcast Thursday that he would wage war to expel US troops from northeastern Syria if dialogue fails to bring the area back under government control.
Assad said his government had "started now opening doors for negotiations" with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-dominated militia alliance that is backed by Washington and controls parts of northern and eastern Syria where United States troops are stationed.
"The only problem left in Syria is the SDF", Assad told Russia Today in an interview aired yesterday, referring to the SDF, which Washington backs against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He said the first option would be to get the United States to agree to leave, but said Syria was "going to resort to liberating those areas by force" if necessary.
Assad said a confrontation between Russian Federation and USA forces over Syria had also been narrowly avoided. (As if we didn't have enough on our plates already.) Assad is being backed by both the Russians and Iran.
"They came to Iraq with no legal basis, and look what happened to them".
"We'll cope with it by two choices", he mentioned.
Israel has claimed that it focused navy infrastructure run by its archfoe Iran, which has been Damascus' different key ally within the battle.
"We could not hide it, and we would not be ashamed to say that we have". Israel has always been concerned about the Iranian buildup in Syria.
In addition, Assad's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad contradicted his leader just last week when he was reported by the Tehran Times as saying, on Lebanon's al-Mayadeen TV, "Whether Iranian forces or Hezbollah withdraw or stay in Syria is not up for discussion because it's the (business) of the Syrian government".
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that his administration has almost won the seven-year-long war in Syria as the army has made major progress in the fight against the rebels, noting that the West tries to prolong the crisis with every Syrian victory.
The southwest is one of the big chunks of territory that still remains outside the control of the Syrian government, which has recovered swathes of territory with the support of the Russian military and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias.
"I would like to point out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow on May 9 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin", he added. "So, he wanted to represent what he is, and that's normal", Assad told RT.
If true, it would mean that Israel, Syria and Jordan have agreed that only Syria and Jordan's army will operate on respective sides of their border, therefore reducing the risk of all-out war between Israel and Iran.
"The majority of the people who were against the government.in the different liberated areas, actually in their hearts they are with the government", Assad said. "While Iran and Iranian militias are present in our country, there will not be a political, negotiated solution".
These include the SDF-held parts of the north and east, and chunks of territory held by rebel forces in the northwest and southwest.
Also Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Moscow for talks focusing on Syria.
The attack triggered U.S., French and British missile strikes against what they called chemical weapons targets, the first co-ordinated Western strikes against Assad's government of the war.