Damascus:Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the US of sponsoring terrorist groups operating in the Arab country by labeling them as moderate opposition.
In an interview with the Russian TV channels, Russia 24 and NTV, broadcast on Wednesday, President Assad said the US tried to promote the notion of the so-called moderate opposition in Syria.
“They haven’t been able to market this lie because the facts on the ground proved the opposite, that all those they support are extremists,” who belong to Daesh, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, with the same extremist and terrorist ideology, he added.
The US officials are seeking to leave Daesh in certain areas and then rely on the so-called moderates to liberate those regions, washing their hands of any link with the extremists in Syria, Assad further noted.
Touching on the situation in Palmyra, which recently fell to Daesh for a second time, the Syrian president stressed that the timing of the attack on the ancient city was directly linked to the battle of Aleppo.
The Daesh raid “started when significant progress was being made in… Aleppo. That’s why this operation has two objectives: first, to undermine the importance of liberating… Aleppo… second… to distract the Syrian army and fragment its efforts in different directions,” he added.
Assad further emphasized that most of the terrorists who took part in the Palmyra attack received direct US support.
Syrian army soldiers and their allies have dealt heavy blows to foreign-backed militants in Aleppo, with Syrian state TV saying that the Damascus forces are now in control of 99 percent of the city.
Elsewhere in his comments, Assad said that Syria’s anti-terror operations will not stop after the liberation of Aleppo and that pauses only happen in areas where terrorists are ready to hand in their weapons and leave.
He also vowed Palmyra’s recapture, saying, “In the end, as we liberated Palmyra in the past, we will liberate it again. It was under Daesh control and the Syrian army, with Russian support, liberated it. We will do that again.”
Terrorists held Palmyra for some 10 months, causing extensive damage to many of its ancient sites, before its liberation in March.
Last week, the US lifted the embargo on providing weapons to Syria’s so-called moderate opposition.
In response to a question about the development, Assad said the arms either goes to Daesh or Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
“Of course the Americans are treacherous… When the American plans fail, what do they always do all over the world? They create chaos… in a manner which enables them to blackmail the different parties until they are able to achieve stability in a way that serves them,” he pointed out.
Commenting on Syria’s reconstruction process, the Syrian president said the country would prioritize the participation of friendly countries such as Russia, China, Iran or the states that did not stand against Syria in rebuilding the war-torn parts of the Arab country.
Separately on Wednesday, Assad had an interview with Russia’s RT television network, during which he accused Western governments of being concerned about saving terrorists in Syria and not the lives of the country’s civilians.