The US has slammed comments by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in which he vowed to regain control of Syria.
A spokesman for the US state department said there was no military solution to the years-long conflict in Syria after Assad said he planned to liberate the entire country from the the control of terrorists.
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Press TV reports:
State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said on Friday that the Syrian president does not have “any legitimacy, but others do.”
“He [Assad] is not a legitimate leader for his people… He is deluded if he thinks there’s a military solution to the conflict in Syria,” he stated.
Toner was responding to an interview Assad gave to AFP published earlier on Friday in which the Syrian president said he intended to liberate the whole country from control of the terrorists.
“Regardless of whether we can do that or not, this is a goal we are seeking to achieve without any hesitation,” President Assad said. “It makes no sense for us to say that we will give up any part.”
Toner’s rebuke came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, led a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in the German city of Munich, where the working group of 17 countries began a new round of Syria peace talks.
The talks are aimed at galvanizing efforts to implement a nationwide ceasefire and “accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid” in Syria, Kerry said.
In his interview, Assad warned that the involvement of regional countries in the conflict meant that the process to liberate Syria would take a long time.
He said it would be possible to end the war “in less than a year” if militant supply routes from neighboring countries were cut.
The Syrian leader also warned of the possibility of direct intervention by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, two regional players that have longed backed the militants fighting the Assad government.