Assad promises to fight for every inch of Syrian territory

Thu, 16.02.2017 16:48

President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday said Raqa is not a priority target for his forces, saying his goal is to retake “every inch” of Syrian territory. 

“Raqa is a symbol,” Assad said in an interview with French media, while asserting that ISIS attacks carried out in France were “not necessarily prepared” in the ISIS group stronghold in Syria. 

“You have ISIS close to Damascus, you have them everywhere,” Assad said. 

“Everywhere is a priority depending on the development of the battle,” he said. 

“They are in Palmyra now and in the eastern part of Syria,” he said in the interview in Damascus with Europe 1 radio and the TF1 and LCI television channels. 

“For us it is all the same, Raqa, Palmyra, Idlib, it’s all the same.” 

The Syrian leader said it was the “duty of any government” to regain control of “every inch” of its territory. 

After a string of major losses in both Iraq and Syria, the ISIS' two main strongholds of Mosul and Raqa are both under attack from governments forces. 

After a massive, four-month campaign, Iraqi forces are tightening the noose on Mosul, while in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces, has begun advancing on Raqa. 

Also in the interview, Assad categorically denied that his government practices torture and reiterated his rejection of recent allegations by Amnesty International of executions and atrocities perpetrated at a prison near Damascus. 

Assad said Amnesty’s “childish report” contained “not a single fact (or) evidence” to support allegations that some 13,000 people were hanged at the Saydnaya prison between 2011 and 2015. 

Source: abna24.com

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