Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he is confident he has the continuing support of key allies Iran and Russian Federation .
Assad also expressed “strong confidence” in Moscow’s efforts to continue backing his regime in the fight against rebel groups and Islamists.
“We must reduce the terrorist threat without maintaining Assad because the two are bound together”.
But Assad said Russian Federation and Iran did not abandon their friends. “Russia has never said that it supported President such and such and then made a decision to abandon him”.
He rebuffed the statement, saying Iran, too, remained a steadfast ally.
The conclusion of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers including the United States has been followed by a spate of high-level diplomatic contacts aimed at trying to advance solutions to the Syrian war. “We are on the same axis, the axis of resistance”.
Assad’s comments come as a monitoring group claimed Tuesday that Syrian government air strikes east of the capital of Damascus have killed 247 people in the last 10 days, including 50 children, and wounded more than 1,000. “Who invited Hezbollah to Syria”, Assad asked.
Syria has been plagued by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
But after a bloody crackdown by the ruling regime, it spiralled into a multi-front civil war that has left more than 240,000 people dead. “The important thing is to be able to form an alliance to fight terrorism”, he said.
“Any initiative that does not have combatting terrorism as a priority has no value”, Assad said.
Assad used the term “terrorism” for both ISIL and opposition activists – something which the West takes Issue with.