Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, President Assad accused the three Western powers of using the White Helmets group to give them a pretext to attack Syria.
"The UK publically supported the White Helmets that are a branch of al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, in different areas of Syria. They [Britain] spent a lot of money, and we consider the White Helmets to be a PR stunt by the UK. So yes, definitely, it was staged by these three countries together, and the UK is involved," Assad said.
Noting that the US-British-French tripartite didn’t provide the public with evidence that an attack actually took place at Douma, Assad said that this wasn't the point. "The crux of the issue is that they need to undermine the Syrian government, as they needed to change and topple the Syrian government at the beginning of the events of the war in Syria. They keep failing, they keep telling lies, and they continue to play a war of attrition against our government," the president said.
Commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May's statements that Britain's participation in the attack on Syria was permitted under international law and aimed at alleviating suffering, Assad said that by her logic, "when Britain and the US attacked Iraq illegally in 2003, killed millions, caused mass destruction, let alone the number of widows and amputees… any government has the right to attack the UK or the US if it thought the act was justified, legal and allowed under international law to alleviate human suffering."
'Western Alliance Supports the Terrorists'
Syria, with assistance from Russia and Iran, has borne the brunt in the international war against the Daesh (ISIS)* terrorists, Assad stressed. "No other party is doing the same, even partially. If you want to talk about the West and the Western military alliance led by the Americans, actually it has been supporting ISIS, because they’ve been attacking the Syrian Army whenever we attack or we’ve been attacked by ISIS; the last incident happened only days ago, when ISIS attacked the Syrian Army and of course we defeated them, and in response the Americans attacked our troops in the eastern part of Syria."
Ultimately, Assad accused the West of attempting to carry out a "colonial policy" in Syria. "They have never changed this policy since the old way of colonialism that existed in the beginning of the 20th century and the 19th century and before, but today it’s covered by, let’s say, a new mask, or different masks," he said.
The full text of President Assad's interview with the Mail on Sunday can be found here.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.