MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Syrian government needs to rid the city of Aleppo of terrorists to protect the local population, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Swiss television Wednesday.
"Our mission, according to the Constitution, according to the law, is that we have to protect the people, that we have to get rid of those terrorists from Aleppo. This is where we can protect the civilians. How can we protect them while they are under the control of the terrorists? They've been killed by them and they've been controlled fully by the terrorists. Is this our role, to sit aside and watch? We need to attack the terrorists, that's self-evident," Assad told SRF in a published excerpt.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Assad fighting numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations.