agence france-presse
Damascus, 4 July
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad accused the West of sending “takfiri terrorist groups” to his country as a way to get rid of them, in an interview with a Syrian daily.
Western countries believe that “these takfiri (extremist) terrorist groups that have been a security concern for decades will come to Syria and be killed and that way they will get rid of them,” Mr Assad told the Al-Thawra daily today. Mr Assad added that the West hoped that by “supporting terrorism in Syria” it could weaken the country, which has been torn apart by a conflict that began with peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011. Syria’s government describes all those opposed to its regime as “terrorists,” and has pointed to the increasing entry of foreign fighters into the conflict as evidence that the uprising is a militant plot.
Mr Assad told the newspaper, a government daily, that even Western countries backing the uprising no longer referred to it as a “revolution”. “The word revolution is no longer mentioned, now what’s being talked about is terrorism,” Mr Assad told the daily. “They’ve moved to another phase. They distinguish between a good terrorist and a bad terrorist… but the word revolution is no longer mentioned,” he said. Much of the international community has thrown its support behind the uprising against Mr Assad.