The liberation of Aleppo will change the course of the war in Syria but won’t mark its end, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Al Watan newspaper.
"The liberation of Aleppo will become an important stage on the way towards freeing Syria from terrorists but the war against them will continue until they are fully destroyed," the Syrian president said.
"Terrorists are staying in other districts of Syria and we’ll be fighting them," Assad said.
The Syrian president attributed the government forces’ successes to the increased combat potential of the Syrian army. He said that the decision to liberate the territory of Syria, including Aleppo, from militants "was made from the very beginning of the conflict."
The government forces’ victory in Aleppo "will inflict a heavy blow on the plot of regional forces and the West against Syria," Assad said.
According to the Syrian president, after militants suffered a defeat near Damascus and in Homs, "Turkey and other enemies of the Syrian government made their main stake on Aleppo and used the city’s proximity to the border to provide military logistics support to militants."
"That is why, the ouster of terrorists from the city will deprive them of their last card," the head of the Syrian state said.
The Syrian authorities always agreed to a truce, expecting to stop the bloodshed but militants in Aleppo used this pause to regroup their forces, Assad said.
"Politically, the ceasefire was advantageous for us as we showed the true intentions of the states supporting armed groupings - that they were acting not in the interests of the population but only want to strengthen terrorists," the Syrian leader said, adding that the US calls for a truce in Aleppo were evidence that "their creatures found themselves in a difficult situation there."