BEIRUT - Western countries that back the revolt in Syria have started to shift position on the conflict because of the danger posed to them by jihadists, according to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The United States and the West have started to send signs of change. Terrorism is now on their soil," said Assad, according to remarks published in a Lebanese newspaper that backs the Damascus regime.
"An American blew himself up on Syrian soil, while a Frenchman (of Algerian origin) killed Jews... in Brussels," said Assad, according to Al-Akhbar newspaper.
A 29-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin who spent more than a year fighting in Syria is being held in custody on suspicion of a May 24 shooting that killed four people in Brussels.
Late last month, the United States said an American national carried out a suicide attack in the north of Syria.
Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations have announced a decision to tighten their defenses against the risk of terror attacks by European jihadists returning from Syria.
According to Al-Akhbar, Assad said "current and former US officials are trying to get in touch with us, but they do not dare to because of the powerful lobbies that are pressuring them."
He also noted that now, "the West can't reverse its previous deeds and change the equation – all weaponry, lethal or not, including anti-aircraft systems, are already in terrorists' hands for some time now."
Syria's war began as a peaceful movement demanding political change, but later morphed into an armed rebellion attracting foreign jihadists after the Assad regime unleashed a massive crackdown against dissent.
Roi Kais contributed to this report.