“It [de Mistura’s initiative] is realistic, and in case Turkey and a number of other states that sponsor militants, stop interfering, there are big chances for success. One of the main reasons of its potential success is the fact that the majority of Syrians want to get rid of terrorists,” Assad said.
The president stated that all terrorist groups in Aleppo are supported by Turkey and, as such, they refused to cooperate with the Syrian government from the moment de Mistura put forward a ceasefire initiative in November 2014.
The terrorists confirmed their unwillingness to cooperate by shelling civilians in Aleppo with mortars a week ago, Assad said.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been the scene of intense fighting since 2012, as armed militant groups launched a military campaign against government troops in an attempt to seize control of northern Syria.
Four years of civil war in Syria have led to over 200,000 civilian deaths, according to UN estimates. More than 7.5 million people have been displaced, and almost 4 million have fled the country.