A Syrian member of parliament has refused to apologise to Russia for a series of insults he made against the regime's ally in response to reports that it was considering ridding itself of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Khaled Al-Aboud, an MP from the southern Daraa governorate who holds the role of secretary and is closely associated with the security services, took to Facebook last week and threatened to launch a war against Russian forces under President Vladimir Putin in Syria starting from the coast in the country's south.
"If Assad wanted it, Putin would have ended, and not just in Syria but in the region and the world, and the name 'Putin' would have been erased from Russian history forever," the post read.
Al-Aboud continued by defending the presence of the Iranian militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) in Syria, as well as their powerful Lebanon-based proxy militia Hezbollah, saying that he considers them to have the greatest role in protecting the Assad regime. He added that relations with Iran hold precedence over relations with Russia.
The attack comes after Russian media called Assad "weak" and the former envoy to Syria criticised Assad's actions throughout the past month, saying that his regime has become a burden for Russia to support. They have also been questioning Assad's very credibility to rule after the ongoing nine-year-long Syrian civil war, the rampant crime subsequently taking place throughout the country, and the lack of reforms.
MPs called on Al-Aboud to delete the post, reportedly saying that they considered it a "joke" and "nonsense" from such a senior member of the Assad regime. The official, however, refused and remained firm on his claim that it represents his own opinion rather than that of the regime.