As a result of the war, 13.5 million Syrians have been left in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN figures. Over 6.5 million are internally displaced, while 4.8 million have fled the country among hostilities.
"We know that history is often written incorrectly and falsified… But if we assume that the produced evaluation is objective and what is written is true, then I can say that the historians and the Syrian people are able to assess best of all… I cannot assess myself, but I may wish…let's say, to be the first among those who preserved the country in the face of terrorist aggression, which was accompanied by atrocities in their essence and form, unprecedented in recent decades, and maybe even in the past centuries. Secondly, [to become] the person who preserved the region, based on the fact that Syria is a key state in the region," Assad said.
He underscored that if Syria had collapsed and there was anarchy, it would have affected the entire region but he managed to preserve it.
"That's how I would like to go down in history," Assad said.
After overcoming the crisis, the Syrian society will see improvements, and positive changes have already started, Assad said.
"We have huge ethnic, religious and social diversity. For Syria to exist, if we really want it to exist, we should live together with each other, in real love, not in feigned [sentiment]. We are beginning to notice this now in the Syrian society. I think that if we are able to overcome this crisis, the Syrian society will be improved from a social point of view," Assad said.
According to the Syrian president, changes in the country's society have been taking place over the past few years.
"At first, the war was a blow for a large number of Syrians, and led them in very dangerous directions due to the media that invented stories, and due to the inability to comprehend the reality that was obscured. Today, the picture is clear, and I believe that the change that has come about proceeds from the idea, which I have just mentioned — that, first of all, fanaticism is impossible in a country as diverse as Syria," Assad said.