Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said yesterday that his army had lost nearly 100,000 soldiers during the eight-year war.
In an interview with RT, Al-Assad said that the Syrian soldiers did not die to defend him, rather they were sacrificing their lives for their homeland.
Al-Assad denied that there was torture in Syrian prisons, despite the existence of numerous documents and photos confirming human right abuses in the regime’s jails, saying the intelligence services had all the necessary information about its citizens and did not need to extract details from anyone under torture.
“Accusations against the security forces of using chemical weapons were no more than allegations,” he continued.
“Our objective is to kill terrorists in order to protect civilians, not to let terrorist groups control the fate of civilians and innocent people and murder them,” he said of the military’s objectives.
Accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “stealing” oil in cooperation with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), he added: “The Americans are always trying to loot other countries in different ways. I am not referring to stealing oil, money or resources only, but also to robbing other countries’ rights.”
“Oil is one, among other factors, that contributed to the outbreak of the armed conflict in Syria.”
Russia, on the other hand, Al-Assad explained “defends its interests in different ways. One aspect of this defence strategy is to fight terrorism in any threatened country, which implies protecting the Russian people, as terrorism and extremist ideologies are without borders and cannot be confined within a specific territory.”