Assad accuses the UK of "bullying" Syria, sends message to Kerry
Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, has accused the UK of “bullying” his country and playing an “unconstructive” role in the region.
In an interview with British newspaper, the Sunday Times, the embattled leader said that Britain’s support of the opposition was “shallow and immature”.
“If they want to change their role, they have to change this - to act in a more reasonable and responsible way. Until then, we don't expect for arsonists to be a firefighter,” he said.
The UK has openly endorsed the new opposition coaltion as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
Asked about the appointment of John Kerry as the new U.S. secretary of state for foreign affairs, Assad said he would rather judge him on his policies than on his personality.
So far an estimated 70,000 people have died in the 22-month conflict raging across Syria. The uprising began peacefully as demonstrators called for greater freedoms, in protests beginning March 2011.
However, the peaceful demonstrators were attacked by government forces and the opposition has since militarized.
In his interview with journalist, Hala Jaber, the Syrian president called on Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to stop sending support to the rebel fighters, whom he called “terrorists”.
“If anyone wants to genuinely… help Syria and help the cessation of violence in our country, they can do only one thing: go to Turkey and sit with [President] Erdogan and tell him ‘stop smuggling terrorists into Syria. Stop sending armaments, providing logistical support to those terrorists.’ They can go to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and tell them ‘stop financing the terrorists in Syria’”, he said.