01 June, 2018
"So, they had to do something, even on a smaller scale", he said of the April 14 airstrikes by U.S., British and French forces.
"This is the first option".
"We never had, and you can not hide it", the Syrian president said. They have to learn the lesson. We don't have any other options, with...
Elsewhere, Assad was asked about the possibility of an assault by the USA and its allies on Syria similar to the tripartite missile attack last month. Medical aid organizations said the attack killed dozens of people.
"We need the Russian support, but we need at the same time to avoid the American foolishness in order to be able to stabilise our country". "We are looking for ways to force Iran out of Syria", the envoy stressed. "So, he wanted to represent what he is, and that's normal", Assad told RT. If the dialogue fails, he said, "we are going to resort to liberating the area by force, with the Americans or without the Americans". "People don't accept foreigners in this region anymore".
Trump has already said he hopes to pull USA troops out of Syria within a matter of months after the complete defeat of ISIS in Syria's eastern provinces.
According to him, Israel and Russian Federation have been intensively discussing the issue of Iran's military presence in Syria, which "is aimed against Israel".
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The Syrian government's plans to recapture rebel-held parts of the region have raised Israeli concerns that its backers - Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah - could take up positions along the frontier.
Russian broadcaster RT asked Assad if he also had a nickname for Trump, to which the Syrian president answered: "This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".
"I think there is a very known principle, that what you say is what you are".
In an interview with Russia's RT worldwide broadcaster, Assad said he would negotiate with fighters backed on the ground by Washington, but would reclaim territory they control by force if necessary, whether or not American troops supported them. "So we are supporting any worldwide mechanism that could limit the influence of Iran in the region in general, and in our country in particular", he added.
"We have Iranian officers, who work with the Syrian army as a help but they don't have troops".
Israel's Channel 1 television said the conversation touched on a possible arrangement for there to be no Iranian presence in southern Syria closer than 70-80 km (40-50 miles) from the Syria-Israel frontier.
To protect the sovereignty of Syria, Assad vowed to "improve our air defense, this is the only thing we can do, and we are doing that".