MOSCOW, November 15. /TASS/. The persistent occupation of Syria by American armed forces may spark a popular armed uprising similar to what was seen in Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
"If the occupiers remain, then this will lead to an Iraq-style scenario for the Americans. This outcome was unforeseen for them, but we in Syria foresaw it," he said, reiterating that in 2003, he predicted the start of the Iraqi armed struggle against the American military. "So, the US occupation of Syria will give rise to a military confrontation which will lead to losses among the Americans and later to their withdrawal," Assad forecasted.
He ruled out any confrontation between the United States and Russia on Syrian soil. "We certainly do not believe that any confrontation between the US and Russia will occur on Syrian territory. It’s obvious and benefits neither us, nor Russia, nor global stability, and it is dangerous. Still, the US shouldn’t think that they are going to breathe easy in all regions that they occupy. We would like to remind them of Iraq and Afghanistan. Syria is not an exception here," Assad emphasized.
The Syrian president said that the American invasion would not have happened had it not been met by support from loyal agents among the Syrians. So, Assad believes overcoming any rift in Syrian society is the key to ending the occupation. "We’ve always said that first and foremost, the closest and most peaceful solution is to unite us, the Syrians, around patriotic principles. Then, the Americans will leave and won’t be able to stay here for oil or for anything else," he concluded.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference after the recent BRICS summit in Brazil that Moscow does not believe the American military presence in Syria is legitimate. In particular, those US forces remaining on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on November 11 that due to the presence of the Americans to the east of the Euphrates River, a hotbed of tension remains in this area with the terrorist threat emanating from there.