Assad to UK: You cannot defeat ISIS through airstrikes alone, cooperation with ground forces needed

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking to the reporter of The Sunday Times in his residence in Damascus. Photo: AFP

ARA News 

DAMASCUS – Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad considered Britain’s bombing campaign against the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria “illegal” adding the campaign will further fuel terrorism.

“It will be harmful and illegal and it will support terrorism as happened after the coalition started its operation a year or so (ago),” Assad told The Sunday Times in Damascus on Sunday.

This comes as the UK started its airstrikes in Syria after the British parliament approved joining military operations by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Assad added that terror “was like a cancer which needed to be tackled with a comprehensive strategy which would involve working with troops on the ground”. 

“You cannot cut out part of the cancer. You have to extract it. This kind of operation is like cutting out part of the cancer. That will make it spread in the body faster.”

“You cannot defeat ISIS through airstrikes alone. You cannot defeat them without cooperation with forces on the ground,” he stressed.

“You cannot defeat them if you do not have buy-in from the general public and the government,” Assad said. 

By: Laila Majdalawi 

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