President Bashar al-Assad warned Sunday that the success of the Russian intervention against the “terrorists” was vital to avoid the destruction of the Middle East, while Moscow multiplied his raids.
For the fifth consecutive day, Russian aircraft have carried out strikes in the country ravaged by four and a half years of conflict, destroying the positions of the jihadist group Islamic State (EI) in Moscow.
But once again, the West regretted that these bombings are aimed primarily rebel groups hostile to Mr. Assad, and not only IE. Russia must “change course”, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
Speaking for the first time since the beginning of the Russian intervention on Wednesday, Mr Assad deemed indispensable coalition success against “terrorism” formed by his country, Russia, Iran and Iraq.
It “must succeed, if not the entire region will be destroyed and not just one or two countries,” he warned in an interview with Iranian TV Khabar.
“The price will certainly be higher,” said Assad, saying sure “chances of success” of this coalition were “big and not small.”
In power for 15 years and surviving revolts that removed several Arab heads of state, Syrian President feels comforted by the Russian intervention. It allows him to hope to reverse the series of military setbacks suffered by his army in recent months.
Moscow said on Sunday that its aircraft Sukhoi had made twenty trips “in 24 hours and hit” ten bandits target of IE. ”
These new raids were carried out a few hours after the announcement that Russia would “intensify” the strike campaign conducted by its units positioned on a base in western Syria.
” Big mistake “
The campaign was deemed Sunday “unacceptable” by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country, bordering Syria, following with concern the internationalization of the conflict. “Russia is making a grave mistake” because his intervention will “isolate Russia in the region and ultimately does nothing good omen,” he warned.
Russia and Turkey disagree on Syria since the conflict began in 2011, Ankara demanding the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that enjoys the strong support of Moscow.
The departure of Assad is also claimed by many Western leaders, like David Cameron, who on Sunday launched an appeal to this effect to the Russians.
“I would tell them:” Change of course, join us to attack (the group) EI but acknowledge that if we want a stable region, we need another leader Assad, ‘”he said Sunday on the BBC.
“Tragically, most Russian air strikes (…) were carried out in areas that are not controlled by the IR but by other opponents of the regime,” Mr. Cameron has regretted.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also called Sunday Moscow “not to the wrong targets’ hitting other organizations that EI.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his part reiterated that the political process essential to a resolution of the conflict can only be successful if Assad was directly involved in the discussions.
Who are the moderates?
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) said the bombing had targeted in the night from Saturday to Sunday the city of Raqa, “capital” of IE. But without being able to determine whether the raids had been carried out by Russian aircraft, the plan or the coalition led by the United States.
In addition, “had, presumably Russian, have conducted several raids against two villages in the north of the province of Homs” (center), a largely area controlled by rebel groups, including the Al-Nosra Front, Syrian branch Al-Qaeda.
A senior official of the Russian General Staff, General Andrei Kartapolov, had said Saturday that “more than 60 strikes” carried out since Wednesday had sown “panic” among jihadists and forced “about 600” of them abandon their positions.
Conversely, Assad found negative stock of the coalition led by the United States. Since its launch a year ago, “terrorism has experienced a geographic expansion and the number of recruits to terrorist groups has increased,” he said on Iranian television.
The Syrian authorities have also arrested and detained for several hours Sunday Mounzer Khaddam, a leader of the opposition tolerated by the regime, days after criticizing the Russian strikes. “The settlement of the Syrian crisis is not imminent as some think dreamers and complicates the Russian intervention (conflict) more,” he wrote on his Facebook page.