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‘West is telling we went too far in defeating terrorists’, Assad

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In an interview to RT, the Syrian President warned against taking statements by western governments at face value, as in Aleppo, they seemed to care more about saving terrorists than civilians. He also slammed the lackluster reaction to ISIS’s onslaught on Palmyra, reported Russia Today.

President Bashar Assad sat down for an interview with RT’s Maria Finoshina as the war in Syria has hit a new critical point with the Syrian Army’s liberation of Aleppo and Islamic State’s (IS, ISIS/ISIL) return to Palmyra. Here’s a fragment of the interview, which is to be exclusively aired on RT on Wednesday.

RT:Palmyra is another troubled region now, and it’s now [being] taken by ISIS, but we don’t hear a lot of condemnation about it.
President Assad: Exactly, because if it was captured by the government they would be worrying about the heritage. If we liberate Aleppo from the terrorists, the western officials and the mainstream media, they are going to be worrying about the civilians. They do not worry when the opposite happens, when the terrorists are killing those civilians or attacking Palmyra and destroying the human heritage, not only the Syrian heritage.

[The Palmyra offensive of] ISIS, if you look at the timing of their attack is related to what is happening in Aleppo. This is the response to what is happening in Aleppo – the advancement of the Syrian Arab Army – and they wanted to undermine the victory in Aleppo and at the same time to distract the Syrian Army from Aleppo to make it more toward Palmyra and stop the advancement. But, of course, it did not work.

RT: Western countries have been repeatedly asking Russia and Iran to put pressure on you to, as they put it, stop the violence. Just recently, six western nations asked Russia and Iran again to put pressure on you, asking for a ceasefire in Aleppo. At the time when your army was progressing, they were asking for a ceasefire.
Assad: It’s always important in politics to read between the lines, not to be literal. It doesn’t matter what they ask. The translation of their statement is for Russia [to] “please, stop the advancement of the Syrian Army against the terrorists.” That is the meaning of their statement, forget about the rest: “You went too far in defeating the terrorists, that shouldn’t happen. You should tell the Syrians to stop this. We have to keep the terrorists and to save them.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power directly confronted Syrian President Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies during a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday with a fierce address, reported Time.

“To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever tightening noose,” Power said.
The U.N. Security Council meeting was called amid reports that pro-government forces, on the brink of fully recapturing the city of Aleppo from opposition fighters after a month of intense bombing and a ferocious ground offensive, had summarily executed dozens of civilians as they moved to clear rebel-held areas on Monday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks with the United States on Syria were at a dead end. His remarks were made during a visit to Belgrade when he also alleged that Daesh’s advance to Palmyra may have been staged by the US and its allies to allow Syrian rebels in Aleppo a respite, reported Middle East Monitor.

Lavrov also said that Russia was ready to negotiate with the US over the opening of corridors for the pull-out of opposition fighters from Aleppo, but added these would have to be agreed before any ceasefire happened.
According to Lavrov, Washington had gone back on a deal on Syria saying: “Our American colleagues do, so to speak, agree with that, and from 3 December when we met John Kerry in Rome they supported such a concept and even gave us their approval on paper,” Lavrov told reporters at a news conference with his Serbian counterpart yesterday.

“But after three days they revoked that agreement and returned to their old, dead-end position which comprises this: Before the agreement on corridors there has to be a truce…as I understand, this would just mean the rebels would get a break,” Reuters reported him as saying.

Lavrov also said he believed that Daesh’s seizure of Palmyra might have been engineered by the US-led coalition to divert attention from Aleppo.
“That leads us to a thought – and I am sincerely hoping I am wrong – that this is all orchestrated, coordinated to give a break to those bandits that are in eastern Aleppo,” he concluded.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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