MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s departure from office before victory over Islamic State would destroy the system of governance in that country while the army would lose its fighting capacity, a senior Russian parliamentarian said on Friday.
"When our Western colleagues are telling us that first, Assad must be deposed, while dealing with Islamic State comes next, it means turning things upside down," State Duma International Affairs Committee head Alexey Pushkov said.
"If President Assad goes, the whole structure of vertical power will fall into pieces, the Syrian government system will be ruined and the army will no longer be battle-worthy," he said, explaining Russia’s stance at a meeting with a delegation from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.