Last Update 22:38
Monday, 29 May 2017

Assad blames ex Al-Qaeda affiliate for bombing evacuees: Russian media

AFP , Friday 21 Apr 2017
Assad
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP news agency in Damascus, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on April 13, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1449
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1449

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Friday blamed the country's former Al-Qaeda affiliate for a deadly bombing against buses carrying evacuees outside Aleppo at the weekend.

"It was Jabhat al-Nusra, they haven't hidden it from the very start, and I think that everyone agrees that it was Nusra," Assad told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency in an interview, referring to the jihadist group now known as the Fateh al-Sham Front that has supposedly severed its ties with al-Qaeda.

The bombing killed 126 people, 68 of them children, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at the Rashidin transit point west of Aleppo as people were evacuating from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the deadliest episodes since the start of Syria's six-year civil war.

In the interview translated into Russian, Assad denied there had been a chemical attack this month in the town of Khan Sheikhun, claiming there was "100 percent" certainty that rebels had obtained chemical weapons from Turkey.

"The only route for terrorists to receive money, weapons and any kind of materials, new recruits or such substances goes through Turkey," he said.

Assad added that Damascus had lost "more than 50 percent" of its air defence systems and that Syria was in talks with Moscow for weapons deliveries.

Assad also minimised the death toll for the civil war that has raged in his country since 2011, which has killed more than 320,000 people.

He said that merely "tens of thousands" had been killed in the conflict, accusing the West of overblowing the death toll.

"These (figures) are only given to inflate numbers in order to show how terrible the situation is and use this as a humanitarian excuse for the invasion of Syria," he said.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.