4 Oct 2015

Assad: US-led air strikes in Syria are ‘counterproductive’

President Bashar al-Assad says only Russia, Syria and its allies can decide the fate of the Middle East, and that terrorism has actually spread as a result of the US-led airstrikes.

Speaking on Iranian television the embattled Syria leader said that if Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq could unite in battling terrorism they would see real practical results

“The chances of this alliance’s success are big, not small,” Assad said, adding that failure would mean “we face the destruction of the whole region”.

However he said the air attacks by Western forces and allied Arab nations on the so called Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria had been counterproductive and terrorism had spread both in terms of territory and new recruits.

His comments come only days after Russian jets launched air strikes from bases in western Syria against targets the Russians claim are Islamic State bases. But others claim they are striking other rival rebel groups that are backed by other nations.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that Russia’s decision to take military action in Syria to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a “terrible mistake”.

“They are backing the butcher Assad, which is a terrible mistake for them and for the world.

“It’s going to make the region more unstable, it will lead to further radicalisation and increased terrorism. I would say to them ‘change direction, join us in attacking ISIL'”