The political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the six-year militancy in her country is nearly over as foreign states cut their backing for Takfiri terrorist groups, vowing that government troops would fight against any “illegitimate” forces, whether Turkish or American.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Friday, Bouthaina Shaaban said the inauguration of Damascus International Fair and regional participation proves a “U-turn was achieved” in the foreign-sponsored crisis.
She added the war has reached its “penultimate stage” as foreign powers that backed militant outfits are changing their policies.
“The exhibition is a defeat for their project, but it does not mean that we have won the war completely. We are just at the beginning of the road towards reconstruction and rebuilding Syria,” Shaaban commented.
The senior Syrian official later criticized Turkey for sponsoring terrorists, arguing that Ankara government says one thing but does another.
Shaaban accused Turkey of playing with all parties in order to win a major regional role through destruction of Syria.
“The presence of Turkish troops is an attack that we will address in a timely manner,” she said, adding that Damascus rejects Ankara’s role in de-escalation zones as Ankara tries to legitimize its presence.
“Just as we defeated terrorism, we will fight any illegitimate presence on our land, whether it’s the United States or Turkey,” Shaaban said.
Shaaban stressed that the United States will not be able to implement any plan to partition Syria.
The remarks came on the same day that Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that army troops, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have made territorial gains against Daesh extremists in the western-central province of Hama, and almost entirely surrounded them in Uqayribat town.
Syrian soldiers and their allies also engaged in fierce clashes with Daesh militants in the Tal al-Sawaneh district, killing and injuring scores of them.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed until then.