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Assad rejects safe zones proposal

A man inspects the area after warcrafts belonging to Assad Regime forces attacked with vacuum bomb to Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on January 1, 2017 [Ahmed al Ahmed / Anadolu Agency]
A man inspects the area after warcrafts belonging to Assad Regime forces attacked with vacuum bomb to Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on January 1, 2017 [Ahmed al Ahmed / Anadolu Agency]

Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad has rejected the creation of safe zones for refugees and displaced people, claiming that they would be at risk of attacks by terrorist groups, Reuters reported on Friday.

“It is not a realistic idea at all,” Assad claimed. “This is where you can have natural safe zones, which is our country. They do not need safe zones at all… It is much more viable, much more practical and less costly to have stability than to create safe zones.”

The Syrian leader welcomed the US efforts to fight Daesh if they are coordinated with his government and include a recognition of Syrian sovereignty. “If the Americans are genuine, of course they are welcome. Like any other country, we want to defeat and to fight the terrorists.”

Troops, he added, form part of the cooperation. “You cannot talk about sending troops… if you do not have a clear political position towards not only the terrorism, towards the sovereignty of Syria, towards the unity of Syria… It must be through the Syrian government.”

Meanwhile, Assad described the US travel ban for Muslims from seven countries, including Syria, as “an American issue.” He alleged that some of these people are in any case “terrorists taking up weapons in Syria, killing people and then appearing as peaceful migrants in Europe.”

Regarding the refugees, the Syrian president said that his priority is to bring them back home, not deal with them as refugees. Syrian refugees, he said, are a “humanitarian crisis caused by the Western support for terrorists.”

According to Assad, the Syrians left their homes for two reasons: terror supported from abroad and the siege imposed on Syria.

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Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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