12:30 GMT23 October 2020
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    Moscow and Tehran defending the interests of their countries when helping Damascus fight against terrorists, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — If the situation in Syria deteriorates, this will trigger a domino effect in all countries in the region, Assad said.

    "This is the misinterpretation, or let’s say the misconception in the West, and maybe part of the propaganda, that Russia and Iran supported Assad, or supported the President. It’s not like this. It’s about the whole situation. The chaos in Syria is going to provoke a domino effect in our region, that’s going to affect the neighboring countries, it’s going to affect Iran, it’s going to affect Russia, it’s going to affect Europe, actually. So, when they defend Syria, they defend the stability and they defend their stability, they defend their interest," Assad said in an interview with SBS TV, as quoted by SANA news agency.

    Russia and Iran recognize Assad as the legitimate authority in Syria, and has repeatedly stated the Syrian people should be free to choose their leadership without outside intervention. The United States and some of its allies have been supporting elements of the opposition, including Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaeda, and have urged Assad to resign.

    Russia launched airstrikes against terrorist groups in Syria in September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to withdraw most of Russia's military contingent from Syria after objectives of the operation had been accomplished.

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    Tags:
    Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Iran, Russia
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