President Bashar al-Assad has said Donald Trump could be a “natural ally” in the fight against terrorism.
In his first reaction to Trump’s election victory, the Syrian leader has however told Portugal’s RTP state television that he’s unsure Trump will be able to keep his word and step up the fight against jihadists.
“For us it’s still dubious whether he can do or live up to his promises or not. That’s why we are very cautious in judging him, especially as he wasn’t in a political position before.. but if, let’s see if he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be ally, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists.”
Syria's Assad – must wait and see if Trump lives up to promises to fight militants https://t.co/k6ej0F3Pwp— Folow_you_Folow_back (@Erick_Martie23) November 16, 2016
Assad also applauded Russian support for his regime.
The airstrikes on both ISIL and rebel positions have helped his government forces make advances on several fronts. By complementing Moscow he infered criticism of Washington.
“The Russians always base their policies on values, and these values are the sovereignty of other countries, the international law, respecting other people, other cultures, so they don’t interfere in whatever is related to the future of Syria or the Syrian people.”
Current US policy is to strike against ISIL while supporting moderate rebels opposed to Assad.
Trump has already indicated he might withdraw US support for the Syrian opposition, which remains dug-in in east Aleppo.