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12 December 2017 Last updated 2 hours ago

Trump natural ally to Syria if terror battle vows carried out: Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says US President-elect Donald Trump will become a "natural ally" if he carries out his vow to battle "terrorists."

"We cannot tell anything about what he's going to do, but if... he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be allies, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries," said Assad during an interview with Portugal's RTP state television network broadcast on Tuesday.

He also said that he would welcome a notion made by Trump while campaigning that the US should be more focused on battling the Daesh terrorist group. "I would say this is promising, but can he deliver? ...Can he go in that regard? What about the countervailing forces within the administration, the mainstream media that were against him? How can he deal with it?" he added.

He noted that such forces are the reason that Syria is still dubious on whether Trump will be able to live up to his vows. "That's why we are very cautious in judging him, especially as he wasn't in a political position before," he added.

During a March interview, Trump (seen below) said that the US’s "approach of fighting Assad and Daesh simultaneously was madness, and idiocy.” "You can't be fighting two people that are fighting each other, and fighting them together. You have to pick one or the other," Trump had said.

Assad also went on to accuse the US of meddling in other countries’ affairs. "They think that they are the police of the world. They think they are the judge of the world. They're not," he said.

Erdogan is a sick person

Assad also criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to him as a "sick person." "He's (a) megalomaniac... He's out of touch with the reality," he added.

Turkey has been hitting Kurdish positions in northern Syria in the recent past without acquiring permission from the government in Damascus. It says incursion was meant to engage the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the Syrian-Turkish border area as well as Kurdish fighters, who were themselves fighting Daesh. Syrian has on multiple occasions said that it views Turkey’s operations as an “occupation,” and has pledged to use “all possible means” to deal with it.

Syria has been gripped by deadly foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over the past few months, terrorists have suffered major setbacks as the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas. Backed by Russian air cover, the Syrian military is engaged in an operation to rid the country of all terrorist groups.