Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad warned on Sunday that if his “anti-terror” alliance with Russia, Iran and Iraq fails, the whole region would be “destroyed”, AFP has reported. Assad made his comments when asked about the chances of success for the alliance by Iran’s Khabar TV station. “The chances of success for this coalition are great and not insignificant,” he added.
According to the Syrian president, those countries “supporting terrorist organisations” could join the alliance, even by “stopping” such support. “This would accelerate the results we all hope to achieve,” he claimed. The alliance is being backed, said Assad, by other countries not involved directly in the conflict.
The Syrian conflict, which started when the government reacted to peaceful protests with violence in March 2011, took a new turn with Russian airstrikes last week. Although claimed to target Daesh, opposition groups in Syria insist that they hit civilian targets and not Daesh bases.
Russia said that the airstrikes will probably last for three to four months. Given that the targets were clearly not sites operated by the extremist group, Western nations doubt Russian intentions.
More than 240,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict. Much of the country has been devastated by the war, and millions of Syrians have been displaced internally or have sought refuge in other countries.