DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Russia is participating in the Syrian conflict in order to protect the citizens living in the two countries, and does not consider the crisis as a "commercial war," Assad told Sputnik.
"In this situation, I mean our war, Russia looks at this war as more than Syrian war, and more than Syrian-Russian war. I think it's the war of every country that wants to protect its citizens from the terrorists. So, when Russia supports our army, it not only protects the Syrian citizens, it also protects the Russian citizens, and I think the European and others. So, for them they don't look at it as commercial war like the Americans," Assad said.
Russia has started its anti-terrorist aerial campaign in Syria in September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Moscow has repeatedly said that the aim of the Russian operation is to help Damascus fight terror and prevent jihadists from Russia and neighboring states who fight in Syria from coming to Russia.