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Assad: ISIS has flourished under American sponsorship
Syrian president says only alliance with Iran, Russia, Iraq can prevent destruction of entire region.

ISIS has thrived under American sponsorship, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed on Sunday in an interview with an Iranian TV station.

 

Assad sharply criticized the coalition fighting against ISIS, saying that since it began its attacks on the terror group, ISIS has overrun additional territory and drawn more recruits.

 

Russian strike in Syria (Video: Reuters)

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According to Assad, his country can be saved by Syria's alliance with Russia, Iran and Iraq. "The chances of succeeding are excellent," he claimed. "The cooperation between the four nations on the military, defense and intelligence levels will lead to practical results. This coalition must succeed – otherwise we will see the destruction of the entire region."

 

A Russian source said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to send 150,000 reservists as soon as this week in order to deal with the ISIS threat.

 

Syrians hold portraits of Assad and Putin (Photo: AP)
Syrians hold portraits of Assad and Putin (Photo: AP)

 

The source declared that Putin is not satisfied with airstrikes, and sending reservists could be a move meant to counter Western accusations that Russia is only striking targets involving more moderate rebels. "It's very clear that Russia wants to rid western Syria from terrorism and take control of Raqqa and the gas and oil deposits next to Palmyra," stated the source.

 

Meanwhile, the West has continued to level its own criticism at Russia. British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday that Russia's actions in Syria were "a terrible mistake". "Most of the Russian air strikes, as far as we've been able to see so far, have been in parts of Syria not controlled by ISIL (Islamic State), but controlled by other opponents of the regime," he said.

 

Cameron's comment echoed US President Barack Obama's statement on Friday that Putin is not differentiating between different rebels factions, which he described as "a recipe for disaster".

 

Reuters contributed to this report.

 

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