US-led coalition doesn't seek ISIL eradication: Assad

Mar 27, 2015 

In this file photo, released by the US Air Force, a US F-15E Strike Eagle flies over northern Iraq, after conducting airstrikes in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the US-led military campaign allegedly targeting the ISIL Takfiri militants does not aim to “do away” with the terror group. 

“It is possible that some of these countries don't want ISIS (ISIL) expansion in Syria and Iraq, but they apparently don't want to do away with the ISIS. They want to use this terrorist structure for threatening and blackmailing other countries,” Interfax news agency on Thursday quoted him as saying.

“The so-called 'anti-terrorist coalition' delivers about ten strikes a day in Syria and Iraq. This coalition comprises sixty developed and rich countries. At the same time, the Syrian Air Force, which is relatively small as compared to the coalition Air Force, delivers a lot more strikes every day. Even if you are not a military man, you will understand that it's not logical,” he added.

Noting that a “serious anti-terrorist operation” has not started yet, Assad said, “In terms of politics, an anti-terrorist coalition cannot consist of the state countries that support terrorism.”

Since September 2014, the US along with its regional allies has been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. This is while many of the countries joining the so-called anti-terror coalition, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been the staunch supporters of the Takfiri elements fighting the Syrian government. 

The airstrikes by US and its allies are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against the ISIL positions in Iraq, which started in August 2014. 

Full interview -