According to the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, stated during an interview with an American television that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which have declared a caliphate on territories they have taken from Iraq and Syria, are on an ascending wave, at least from the point of view of popularity between foreigners and of the recruitment process.
Bashar al-Assad added that the recruitment has gained a growth in number since the United States started to lead aerial attacks against the extremist group.
The statements have all been made during an interview with CBS, on their `60 Minutes` show.
“Sometimes you could have local benefit but in general if you want to talk in terms of ISIS, actually ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes.”
said al-Assad, when asked about the benefit from the airstrikes that happened in Syria in September 2014.
According to Bashar al-Assad, who is involved in fighting against Islamists and factions of rebels beginning with 2011, some experts calculate that approximately one thousand new recruits join the Islamic State per month in Syria, in the battle against everything that is not under their self-declared caliphate.
The Syrian president has also added that he and his experts reckon that the Islamic State is not expanding only in Syria, but also in Iraq and, more recently, in Libya. The groups that are linked to al-Qaeda have all swore allegiance to the caliphate, including Boko Haram or the al-Shabaab and other jihadists.
Even if, over the last weeks, the United States expressed the will to bring Bashar al-Assad to the table of negotiation, it seems like there is not much to be done about it at the moment. The United States want to remove Bashar al-Assad from power thus contributing in a significant, decisive way to ending the conflict in Syria, one of the most terrible civil wars of the century.
Still, the president of Syria says that the main priority at the moment is the fight against the Islamic State`s insurgents.
Bashar al-Assad was asked about the circumstances under which he would be willing to retire. He responded that he would do such a thing only when he won`t represent the values of the Syrian people anymore and when he won`t be supported by his co-nationals any longer.
He also replied in a bizarre way to a question about how he knows whether he is supported or not. al-Assad said he feels it, he senses it, there is no need for other type of determination.
Image Source: HuffPost