Syria President Bashar Al-Assad says UK air strikes will fail and mocks David Cameron ‘farce’

Mr Assad says RAF air strikes were illegal and detrimental to anti-terror operations being undertaken by his regime

Matt Payton
Sunday 06 December 2015 19:19
comments
Mr Assad poured scorn on the PM’s assertion that 70,000 moderate rebels could defeat Isis
Mr Assad poured scorn on the PM’s assertion that 70,000 moderate rebels could defeat Isis

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has claimed British bombing raids against Isis targets in his country will fail – and ridiculed Cameron’s Middle East policy as a “classical farce”.

In an interview with the Sunday Times within his Damascus compound, Mr Assad said the RAF air strikes were illegal and detrimental to anti-terror operations being undertaken by his regime.

He said: “You cannot defeat them [Isis] through air strikes alone. You cannot defeat them without co-operation with forces on the ground.

RAF planes launch second round of strikes on Isis oil field in Syria

“You cannot defeat them if you do not have buy-in from the general public and the government …They are going to fail again.”

It comes after MPs gave their backing to British air strikes in Syria, with the oil fields operated by militant group Isis targeted.

Mr Assad went on to praise his Russian allies, who he said entered the Syrian conflict “the legal way”.

“The Russians can see this clearly, they want to protect Syria, Iraq, the region — and even Europe,” he said.

“I am not exaggerating by saying they are protecting Europe today.”

Mr Assad poured scorn on the British Prime Minister’s assertion that 70,000 moderate rebels could defeat Isis on the ground.

He said: “This is a new episode in a long series of David Cameron's classical farce ... where are they? Where are the 70,000 moderates he is talking about? There is no 70,000. There is no 7,000.”

Mr Assad blamed Europe for producing terrorists, stating: “How many extremist cells now exist in Europe?

“How many extremists did you export from Europe to Syria? This is where the danger lies. The danger is in the incubator.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments