Syrian Dictator Assad: Terrorists are 'definitely' among refugees

Feb 11, 2017, 00:28
Syrian Dictator Assad: Terrorists are 'definitely' among refugees

He said it does not have to be a "significant" number of terrorists to commit atrocities, stressing that his priority is to "bring Syrian refugees back to their country, not to prompt them to immigrate". The interview in Assad's office was his first since President Trump took office.

While the new US president has said he's open to working with Russian Federation toward battling ISIS in Syria, it remains to be seen whether and how such cooperation may play out.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Assad dismissed a recent report by Amnesty International alleging that military forces had hanged as many of 13,000 people over the course of five years at the Saydnaya prison near Damascus.

"You can find it on the Net", Assad went on: "Those terrorists in Syria, holding the machine gun or killing people, they [appear as] peaceful refugees in Europe or in the West". "You can forge anything these days".

He further quoted former U.S. President Barack Obama as confessing that the presence of IS was a result of the U.S. invasion to Iraq.

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Assad considers all armed opposition in the war that has beset Syria since 2011 as "terrorists". "We can disagree or agree", President Assad said, according to SANA news agency.

Fact check: A report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation published in July 2015 concluded that the images show no evidence of being manipulated and "appear to depict real people and events".

Assad was pressed on his opposition to safe zones, considering that almost half the population of Syria has been displaced by the war. This is where you can have a natural safe zone, which is our country.

Other US politicians and officials have long supported the idea of safe zones in Syria, including Democrats such as Trump's presidential rival Hillary Clinton. "It's not a realistic idea at all", Assad said according to the transcript.

"So Amnesty International knows more about Syria than me?" he wondered. The one person who does want save zones established is Trump, though he has yet to give any details on how he sees them working beyond saying the Gulf States would be paying for them.