Sunday, February 21, 2016
Syria's Assad says he is ready for truce if 'terrorists' and their 'sponsors' do not exploit it.
Syria's Assad says he is ready for truce if 'terrorists' and their 'sponsors' do not exploit it. (AlAhram).
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday he was ready for a ceasefire, on condition "terrorists" did not use a lull in fighting to their advantage and that countries backing insurgents halted support for them.
His comments were made as the Syrian opposition said it had agreed to the "possibility" of a temporary truce, provided there were guarantees Damascus's allies including Russia would cease fire, sieges were lifted and aid deliveries were allowed country-wide.
"We have said that we are ready to stop military operations, but the issue relates to more important factors ... such as preventing terrorists from using it to improve their positions," Assad told Spanish newspaper El Pais in an interview.
He also said any truce must ensure that "other countries, especially Turkey, are prevented from sending more terrorists and weapons, or any kind of logistical support".
Damascus refers to all insurgents fighting against the Syrian army and its allies as terrorists.
He told El Pais his troops were now close to fully controlling the northern city of Aleppo and were advancing towards the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province.
Once he has control of the country, Assad also said in the interview, the next step would be to form a national unity government that would lay the groundwork for a new constitution and general elections. Read the full story here.