Assad says he is open to solution
DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that he is still open to a political settlement with the rebels in the country’s south, but added that the military option is also on the table.
“After the liberation of Ghouta, we had two options (in the south): either reconciliation or liberation by force. The Russian side proposed to give a chance to settlement and reconciliation like what happened in other areas,” Assad said in an interview aired yesterday.
He added that the issue had not been resolved, and the Russians, Americans and Israelis are communicating with one another.
The Syrian army has seized much of the south from the rebels, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It also lies close to the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Assad accused the US and Israel of hindering a political solution by exerting pressure on the rebels.
He also said Iran had no military bases in Syria.
However, he said there were Iranian advisers along with Iranian volunteers led by Iranian officers.
“When Iran or Hezbollah sees that terrorism is eliminated, they will tell us that they want to leave back to their homelands,” he added. – DPA