The policy Russia is pursuing in Syria rests on morals and international law, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
Asked who calls the shots - Damascus or Moscow, Assad replied: "Of course we make the decisions." "Russian military has been in Syria for six decades. Their policy rests on two things - morals and international law," he said.
"Even if they have a point of view, they say: ‘This is your country, you know more.’ They never try to interfere (in Syrian affairs - TASS) because they don’t want anything from us. They don’t ask us to be a puppet president," Assad said.
According to Syrian President, "they (Russians - TASS) know if Syria loses the war against terrorism, this terrorism will prevail in Europe, and that affects Russia and everyone in the world."
"In the past if I said anything, people would say the Syrian president is disconnected from reality. Now it’s different. The West is becoming much weaker. They don’t have a leg to stand on explaining to people what’s going on," he said. "Isis (the Islamic State terrorist group banned in Russia) was smuggling oil and using Iraqi oilfields under American satellites and drones to make money, and the West was not saying anything. Whereas here (in Syria - TASS) the Russians interfered and Isis started to shrink in every sense of the word," Assad added.
Russia started its operation against militants in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President. The Russian bombing campaign has helped the Syrian troops to liberate about 400 populated localities and has inflicted serious damage to the illegal oil trade, which is the main source of income for terrorists. All major supply routes for weapons and ammunition were blocked. On March 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a withdrawal of the main part of the Russian Aerospace Forces from Syria. Two Russian military facilities continue operation in the Syrian territory now - in Hmeymim and Tartus.
First published by TASS.