08:36 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Russian Su-25 attack aircraft take off from the Khmeimim airbase in Syria.

    Russia's Campaign in Syria: Assad Explains Why Terrorists Are Losing

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    President Bashar al-Assad praised Russia for its efforts aimed at defeating terrorist groups, which are trying to establish an Islamic state in Syria. The US-led coalition, in his view, has failed to deliver on the promise to tackle Daesh, also known as ISIL or ISIS.

    Since the US-led coalition launched airstrikes against militant targets in Syria in September 2014, Daesh, al-Nusra Front and "other like-minded organizations or groups were expanding, expanding freely," the Syrian leader observed.

    Russia, for its part, has managed to achieve much since September 30, when it launched its aerial campaign in Syria. "ISIS and al-Nusra started shrinking" thanks to Moscow's involvement, Assad told the Sunday Times. He added that Russia's counterterrorism campaign was authorized by Damascus, while the Syrian government did not provide permission to the US to operate on its territory.

    "The Russian role is very important. It has had a significant impact on both the military and political arena in Syria… What is definite is that the Russian support to the Syrian people and government from the very beginning, along with the strong and staunch support of Iran, has played a very important part in the steadfastness of the Syrian state in the fight against terrorism."

    The Syrian leader stressed that Moscow’s support had been valuable even before it launched its anti-terrorist campaign in Syria.

    "The Russians… want to protect Syria, Iraq, the region, themselves and even Europe. I am not exaggerating by saying they are protecting Europe today," Assad said.

    Assad emphasized that French and British participation in the US-led airstrike campaign in Syria is illegal under international law and will not be instrumental in defeating Daesh.

    "It is legal only when the participation is in cooperation with the legitimate government in Syria. So, I would say they don't have the will and they don't have the vision on how to defeat terrorism," Assad said.

    The Syrian president also accused Paris and Berlin of supporting terrorist groups in Syria since the outbreak of the civil war in early 2011. "Britain and France helped in the rise of ISIS and al-Nusra in this region," he noted.

    Daesh made headlines when the group captured large territories in Iraq and Syria in mid-2014. Both groups have proved to be quite resilient in the face of the US-led efforts. Russian forces have helped Damascus to free large areas of the country, destroy militant infrastructure and kill hundreds of terrorists. 

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Tags:
    Daesh, Russian aerial campaign, counterterrorism, Al-Nusra Front, Bashar al-Assad, United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France
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