Syria’s Assad says US aims to fragment regional countries

Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday said the US aims to fragment regional countries through supporting the terror groups.

Assad made the remarks during his meeting with Faleh Fayad, Iraq’s national security advisor, during which both sides discussed political and security issues in light of the situation in the region, SANA reported.

Assad said the US plans in the region aim at undermining and weakening the countries in the region through continuing its support to the terror groups.

Such plans need to be faced by unified stances from the countries that seek to preserve their unity, Assad said.

His remarks come just days after the United States threatened to strike Syria, following the advance of the Syrian army in the war against the rebels in Eastern Ghouta.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley recently threatened that the United States will strike Syrian government forces if they don’t halt their operation in Eastern Ghouta amid US accusations that the Syrian forces are using chemical weapons in their attack, a claim that has been repeatedly denied by the Syrian government.

“We also warn any nation that is determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must,” Haley said.

The remarks raised the ire of Russia, Syria’s main ally, with Russian officials threatening retaliation.

Russia’s Army General Valery Gerasimov warned on Tuesday that the United States was preparing to launch raids against the Syrian government.

“In the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s armed forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles,” Gerasimov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

Last April, the United States struck the Shairat military base in the central Homs province, marking the U.S. response to the alleged chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in the countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

At the time, the Syrian government denied using chemical weapons, saying it didn’t possess such weapons, calling the US attack “an American aggression”.