President Assad: This is a very important question, because Western officials, most prominently former US President Obama, said that the moderate opposition was an illusion or a fantasy. This is by their admission, they, who supported that opposition and gave it a false moderate cover. So, this moderate opposition does not exist. The opposition which exists is a Jihadi opposition in the perverted sense of Jihad of course. It is also indoctrinated in the perverted sense that does not accept neither dialogue nor a solution except through terrorism.
That is why we cannot, practically, reach any actual result with this part of the opposition. The evidence is that during the Astana negotiations they started their attack on the cities of Damascus and Hama and other parts of Syria, repeating the cycle of terrorism and the killing of innocents.
This opposition, between brackets, because it cannot be called opposition, these terrorists cannot be an opposition and cannot help reach a solution. Apart from that, these terrorist groups are themselves linked to the agendas of foreign countries. They do not belong to a certain current or movement among the Syrian people that seeks political reform or a certain solution, neither before nor during the war. Another part of these groups might look political in the sense that they do not carry arms, but they support terrorism. A third part is linked to the Saudi, Turkish, and Western agenda.
President Assad: The world that declared war consists practically of Western countries which themselves support terrorism. Most countries of the world are against terrorism. They do not declare that, but they have been practically cooperating with us in one way or another during the war, and before the war, because terrorism did not start only with the war on Syria. Terrorism has always existed in the world and has become more widespread as a result of the different wars in the Middle East. But the Western countries which declared war on terrorism still support it up till now. They do not fight it. It is used only in name for domestic consumption. The fact of the matter is that they use terrorism as a card to achieve different political agendas, even when this terrorism backfires and claims victims in their own countries. But they do not acknowledge this fact.
As to who is fighting terrorism in Syria, it is basically the Syrian Arab Army. This is not only a claim because there are facts on the ground which prove it. The Syrian Arab Army has been able to make these achievements in fighting terrorists thanks, in the first place, to the Syrian fighters’ will, and thanks to popular support. Without popular support, it is not possible to achieve such victories. However, there has been verystrong support from our allies, whether it was Iran, Russia, or Hezbollah from Lebanon.