Al-Assad: Victory in Sight after Aleppo Tipping Point
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed that the army and its allies are on the road to victory after recapturing the key city of Aleppo last month.
In an interview with France's RTL television to be aired on Monday, al-Assad said: "We do not consider that [retaking Aleppo from the militants] as a victory because victory will be when we have eliminated all the terrorists."
"But it is a critical moment in this war because we are on the path to victory."
Earlier Sunday in Damascus, al-Assad told visiting French lawmakers that he was "optimistic" about new peace talks planned for later this month in Kazakhstan.
Lawmaker Thierry Mariani said the Syrian president also declared himself willing to negotiate with nearly 100 opposition groups, excluding terrorist organizations.
"At the end, the people are liberated from the terrorists," he said, noting that "of course it's very painful for us as Syrians to see any part of our country destroyed, or to see any bloodshed anywhere," he said.
The Syrian president asked, "Is it better to leave [civilians] under their supervision, under their oppression, by beheading, by killing?"
Regarding al-Raqqa, he highlighted that it's the Syrian army's mission, according to the constitution and according to the laws that we have to liberate every inch of the Syrian land.
"There's no question about that, it's not to be discussed. But it's about when, what are our priorities, and this is military, regarding to the military planning, about the military priorities," he explained.
Moving to Astana talks, the head of the Syrian state underlined that his government is ready to negotiate everything. "When you talk about negotiation regarding whether to end the conflict in Syria or talking about the future of Syria, anything, it's fully open, there's no limit for that negotiations."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team