Syria's Bashar al-Assad threatens force against US-backed Kurds, says Americans should leave the country

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned US-backed Kurdish forces he would not hesitate to use force to retake the third of the country they control

AFP May 31, 2018 15:30:50 IST
Syria's Bashar al-Assad threatens force against US-backed Kurds, says Americans should leave the country

Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned US-backed Kurdish forces he would not hesitate to use force to retake the third of the country they control.

"The only problem left in Syria is the SDF," Assad told Russia Today in an interview aired today, referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces which has spearheaded battles against Islamic State group jihadists.

Syrias Bashar alAssad threatens force against USbacked Kurds says Americans should leave the country

File image of Bashar Al-Assad. Reuters

"We're going to deal with it by two options," he said.

"The first one: we started now opening doors for negotiations. Because the majority of them are Syrians, supposedly they like their country, they don't like to be puppets to any foreigners," Assad said.

"We have one option, to live with each other as Syrians. If not, we're going to resort... to liberating those areas by force," he said. "It's our land, it's our right and it's our duty to liberate it, and the Americans should leave. Somehow they're going to leave," he said.

Both the SDF and Russian-backed Syrian government troops are engaged in separate operations against Islamic State jihadists in eastern Syria, creating a highly volatile situation where de-confliction mechanisms have already been tested several times.

Assad also said that a confrontation between Russia and US forces over Syria was narrowly avoided. "We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces," he said.

"Fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership."

A US-led wave of Western missile strikes on Syrian government targets across the country last month raised fears of a Russian response and full-blown internationalisation of the seven-year-old conflict. More strikes by US ally Israel have further raised fears that the devastating war, which has left more than 350,000 people dead, could yet escalate.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

US Open 2020: Mother's Day Out at Flushing Meadows as Serena Williams takes on Tsvetana Pironkova
Sports

US Open 2020: Mother's Day Out at Flushing Meadows as Serena Williams takes on Tsvetana Pironkova

Serena Williams, making her 17th US Open quarterfinal appearance, takes on Tsvetana Pironkova, making her first, on Wednesday.

US Open 2020: Not how you start, but how you finish, says Serena Williams in comeback win to move into semis
Sports

US Open 2020: Not how you start, but how you finish, says Serena Williams in comeback win to move into semis

Serena Williams hit 20 aces, her most in a match in eight years — to end up on the right side of a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 score after more than two hours.

US Open 2020: Daniil Medvedev downs childhood friend Andrey Rublev to reach semi-finals
Sports

US Open 2020: Daniil Medvedev downs childhood friend Andrey Rublev to reach semi-finals

Daniil Medvedev will play either second seed Dominic Thiem or Australia's Alex de Minaur, seeded 21st, in the last four on Friday.