Syrian president says US presence in Syria to generate resistance

al-assad (xinhua).jpg

(Photo: Xinhua)

DAMASCUS, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the US military presence in Syria would generate a resistance until its withdrawal from the country, state news agency SANA reported Friday.

"There is no occupying force that can exist in a certain place without having agents on the ground," al-Assad said in an interview with Russia's media outlets RUSSIA 24 and Rossiya Segodnya.

The immediate and most effective way for Syrians is to unite to make the United States leave the Syrian territories, he added.

"America cannot believe that it will live comfortably in any area it occupies ... Syria will not be an exception," the Syrian president noted.

Regarding the Turkish-Russian agreement in Sochi last month about the need for the Kurdish militia to withdraw 30 km from the Syrian-Turkish border, al-Assad said this agreement must be implemented.

However, he charged that the presence of the Kurdish militia in the border area was the pretext of the Turkish government to launch military offensive in northern Syria.

The president noted that following the implementation of the Turkish-Russian agreement, the Turkish army must withdraw from the areas it has stormed since Oct. 9.

"We are cooperating with Russia in order to fully implement this agreement, after which we should tell the Turks to start withdrawing," he said.

Meanwhile, al-Assad said his administration has already declared its agreement to integrate the Kurdish fighters into the Syrian army.

However, the Kurdish militias are still reluctant to make such a move.

"The official response we received was that they were not prepared to join the Syrian army and that they insist on keeping their weapons in those areas," said al-Assad.

But "we have to keep trying and we'll see how things progress in the next few weeks," he noted.

When asked about the new constitutional committee that has already started its first meetings in Geneva, al-Assad said pointed to a misconception about the committee that the solution to the Syrian war will come about as a result of the committee's work.

"The war did not start because of a disagreement or a division over the constitution. The war in Syria started because there were acts of terrorism that killed members of the military, the police, and civilians and also destroyed public and private properties. So, the war ends when terrorism ends," al-Assad explained.

He urged the committee to work in the interests of the Syrian people and without an alliance with foreign powers.

"In order to expect results from this committee, every one of its members should have their allegiance to the Syrian people, and they cannot belong to a foreign state," al-Assad said.