MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. The blame for the breakdown of the Aleppo ceasefire lies squarely with the US and its allies, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with the Serbian daily, Politika. The text of the interview was circulated by the President’s Office on Thursday.
"The West, mainly the US, is responsible for the recent ceasefire disruption in Aleppo," Assad stated.
According to him, the Western coalition strengthens the terrorists’ positions during a truce.
"When a ceasefire fails to achieve the goals set by the West and its allies, they order the terrorists to disrupt it," the Syrian president added.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have been abetting terrorists active in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has noted.
"Terrorists came to Syria via Turkey, the government provided direct support for them," Assad asserted. He also accused the Turkish government of supplying the terrorists with funds and weapons.
"Yes, they gave them the green light for that. The US-led coalition is called an ‘international coalition’ but in fact it is a US one, it could receive data from unmanned aircraft proving that the IS (Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia) was using our oil fields and sending oil to Turkey in trucks," he elaborated adding that the Turkish president himself as well as his family members "were directly involved in the trade with IS."
According to Assad, the truck convoys were travelling unimpeded between Syria and Turkey "under the surveillance of satellites and unmanned aircraft", until Russia joined the conflict upon Syria’s request. "Russia interfered and started to attack the IS convoys, their positions and strongholds. From that moment, the IS had begun weakening," the Syrian president noted.
"The West gave the green light to countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are in fact Washington’s puppets… The terrorists operate in Syria with their participation as well as with the involvement of the West and the US," Assad stated.
Unlike the US-led international coalition’s activities, Russia’s assistance has allowed Damascus to make significant gains in the war on terror in Syria, Bashar Assad said.
"Let’s be real. The IS (Islamic State terror group, outlawed in Russia) had been expanding its presence until the Russians came," he said. According to Assad, "since the Russian Aerospace Forces began its operation in Russia, IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Al-Qaeda affiliates have been losing control over seized territories."
"That is the reality. Why so? Because (Russia) is a great power with a strong army and huge military capabilities that is able to support the Syrian army in this war." Assad went on to say that "when a great power like Russia takes part in the war on terror in coordination with ground forces, namely with the Syrian army, it can achieve actual results" unlike the US-led international coalition.
"As for the US-led alliance which is not serious anyway, they don’t have allies here and can achieve nothing," Assad elaborated.
Russia launched an operation against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of president Bashar al-Assad. Syrian government forces supported by Russia’s warplanes have liberated about 400 settlements. Serious damage has been inflicted on the oil trade, which helped fund the terrorists’ coffers, and the main ways to supply arms and ammunition to the terrorists have been cut. On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of the bulk of the Aerospace unit from Syria, but two Russian military facilities which include the Hmeimin air base and the Tartus naval base, continue to operate in the country.