SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – In a wide-ranging interview with BBC, President Assad defended his government and army and said that Syria is fighting against terrorists. Regarding allegations about barrel bombs, he said: “We have bombs, missiles and bullets… There are no barrel bombs, we don’t have barrels.”
“I know about the army. They use bullets, missiles and bombs. I haven’t heard of the army using barrels, or maybe, cooking pots,” President said. Regarding joining the US-led coalition, Assad said: “No, definitely we cannot and we don’t have the will and we don’t want, for one simple reason – because we cannot be in an alliance with countries which support terrorism.”
Assad stressed he would refuse to talk with American officials, he said, “because they don’t talk to anyone, unless he’s a puppet”, referring to some Western and Persian Gulf Arab rulers.
“And they easily trample over international law, which is about our sovereignty now, so they don’t talk to us, we don’t talk to them.”
President Assad dismissed efforts by the US to train and equip a “moderate” rebel force to fight IS (Da’esh terrorist group) militants on the ground in Syria, saying it was a “pipe-dream”. He argued that there were no moderates, only extremists from IS and Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Al-Nusra Front.