Little hope for Syrian regime to join anti-ISIS coalition

Syrian President Bashar al Assad says joining anti-ISIS coalition alongside his ‘enemies’ makes no sense

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Bashar al Assad - Archive

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has said it is highly unlikely his country will join an anti-ISIS coalition, although he is open to the idea.

In an interview broadcast on Tuesday, Assad said that his government would not reject such an alliance, but said "states which stood with terrorism would be the states that will fight terrorism."

Assad's comments cast further doubt on a Russian plan to forge an alliance against ISIS, which has taken control of one third of Iraq and half of Syria by taking advantage of the security vacuum and political instability in the country.

Assad’s position seems to differ from previous remarks by the Syrian foreign minister who said such an alliance would need "a miracle."

The anti-ISIS initiative would involve the intervention of countries like Saudi Arabia, which backs the Syrian rebels that Assad seeks to destroy. 

Saudi Arabia has ruled out any alliance against ISIS that includes Assad. Saudi Arabia wants to Assad to be ousted from power and holds him responsible for the rise of ISIS.

"A small possibility remains that these states decided to repent, or realised they were moving in the wrong direction, or maybe for reasons of pure self-interest, they got worried that this terrorism is heading towards their countries, and so they decided to combat terrorism," Assad said.

Russia has been a vital ally of Assad during the war, along with Iran. Assad said he’s "confident" he will continue to support from the country.

"We have no objection. The important thing is to be able to form an alliance to fight terrorism," he said in the interview with al-Manar TV, which is controlled by the Lebanonese Iranian backed militant group Hezbollah.

Following the completion of a nuclear deal between Iran, the US and five other world powers there has been a long streak of high-level diplomatic correspondence aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian Civil War. However, previous attempts at a negotiated end to the conflict in Syrian have all failed.

A fresh push for a solution is under way, leading to speculation that Assad could be forced from office, according to the BBC.

The French Government has said that the "neutralisation" of Assad is essential to ending the crisis. French President Francois Hollande said, "We must reduce the terrorist influence without maintaining Assad. The two are bound up together."


TRTWorld and agencies