Assad says France shares responsibility for Paris attack

Leader of embattled Syrian regime Bashar al Assad says France bears some responsibility for deadly attacks in Paris and that he is ready to help France against DAESH on condition that Hollande gives up regime change policy

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Embattled Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad has said France bears some responsibility for the attacks in Paris that left at least 129 people dead and more than 350 others injured on Friday.

After meeting with a French government delegation and journalists in Damascus, Assad said he was ready to help France against DAESH but under one condition - that the French government gives up its policy of regime change in Syria, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Act in the interest of your people," Assad said, addressing French President Francois Hollande.

"The first question asked by every French citizen today is, ‘Have the French policies over the past five years brought any good to the French people?" said Assad.

"The answer is no, so what I ask him to do is to act in the interest of the French people - which means changing his policies."

Assad also added, "The flawed policies pursued by Western countries and especially France as regards what is happening in our region ... contributed to the spread of terrorism."

Some political leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have continued to accuse the Assad regime of performing "state terrorism" against Syrian civilians.

Assad has also been accused of supporting DAESH and focusing on fighting against rebels.

France has been targeting DAESH in Syria with air strikes alongside a US-led coalition since September.

Russia also began an aerial campaign in Syria on Sept. 30, initially saying it would be targeting positions held by DAESH, but concerns were raised when it appeared that the majority of Russian air strikes were targeting the Syrian opposition fighting against Bashar al Assad’s regime.

The ongoing war in Syria has, to date, claimed the lives of an estimated 250,000 people, most of whom were killed by regime air strikes and indiscriminate barrel bombings from helicopters on civilian areas.

Approximately half the country’s population has been displaced, with an estimated 6.7 million people seeking refuge elsewhere in Syria and more than 4 million moving into neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan.

TRTWorld and agencies