Assad — No Alternative to Recapturing Aleppo –  October 14 – Interview with Russian Komsomolskaja Pravda

In an interview with Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, Assad ignored the bombing and besieging of about 275,000 civilians and said:  You have to keep cleaning this area and to push the terrorists to Turkey, to go back to where they come from or to kill them. There’s no other option. Aleppo is going to be a very important springboard to do this move.

Foreign powers, including the US and Russia, are renewing talks in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday. The focus will be on Aleppo, where Russian and regime airstrikes have killed about 600 civilians in the past three weeks, with calls for a new ceasefire and assurance of humanitarian aid.

Washington had said it was suspending contacts with Moscow after the escalation of bombing and Russia’s refusal to halt the attacks. US officials emphasized on Wednesday that the discussions in Lausanne are multilateral rather than bilateral.

However, Assad played down any US-Russian push for a political resolution:

What we’ve been seeing recently during the last few weeks, and maybe few months, is something like more than Cold War. I don’t know what to call it, but it’s not something that has existed recently, because I don’t think that the West and especially the United States has stopped their Cold War, even after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Assad also denounced Turkey, despite the attempts of Russia and Iran to distance Ankara from support of the Syrian opposition and rebels. He said Turkish actions in Syria, including a military intervention alongside rebels in northern Syria from late August, constituted an “invasion against international law, against the morals, against the sovereignty of Syria”.