Syria’s Assad: ‘Weaker’ West did nothing to stop ISIL

by WorldTribune Staff, November 7, 2016

While the “much weaker West” did nothing to stop Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria it was ultimately Russian firepower that “made the difference,” Syrian President Bashar Assad said.

“In the past if I said anything, people would say the Syrian president is disconnected from reality. Now it’s different. The West is becoming much weaker,” Assad said in an interview published in the British Sunday Times and quoted by AFP.

Syrian President Bashar Assad. /DPA/Sana
Syrian President Bashar Assad. /DPA/Sana

“They don’t have a leg to stand on explaining to people what’s going on. ISIL was smuggling oil and using Iraqi oilfields under American satellites and drones to make money, and the West was not saying anything.”

Assad said that it was when the Russians stepped in that ISIL “started to shrink in every sense of the word. What made the difference, of course, was firepower. They have firepower we don’t have.”

He added, “at the end we were fighting an unlimited reserve of terrorists coming to Syria and we struggled, so Russian firepower and Iranian support has compensated.”

Assad doubled down on his vow to defeat rebel forces in Aleppo.

“Aleppo is an issue where terrorists have occupied part of the city, and we need to get rid of them.”

Assad and his supporters use the word “terrorists” to describe all rebel groups – jihadist or otherwise – trying to oust him from power.

Asked if he could sleep with the knowledge of the children being killed every day in Aleppo and elsewhere, Assad laughed and said, “I know the meaning of that question. I sleep regular, I sleep and work and eat normal and do sports,” he stressed.

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