Assad: fight against 'terror' trumps fight against Israel

Syrian president’s assertions come after Israel admits to striking Syrian targets last Thursday night

Assad: fight against 'terror' trumps fight against Israel

World Bulletin / News Desk

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a Monday interview on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television channel that combating “terrorism” took priority over the fight against Israel.

The interview was broadcast following an announcement by the Israeli military that it had conducted 14 airstrikes against Syrian targets last Thursday night, ostensibly in response to rockets fired from Syrian territory into northern Israel.

“If we want to confront Israel, we must first deal with its agents in Syria,” Assad said in explanation as to why Syria had not responded to last week’s airstrikes. “You can’t fight an external enemy when you still have a domestic one.”

Assad went on to describe the armed opposition groups fighting his regime as “the main problem” in Syria, which, he said, was currently battling “foreign powers”, including Israel.

“These groups’ actions,” he said, in reference to domestic armed opposition groups, “are more dangerous than what Israel does from time to time in support of them.”

Syria’s ongoing civil war, now in its fifth year, has led to the death of at least 250,000 people and made the country the world's single-largest source of refugees, according to UN figures.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2015, 14:55