Syria President Bashar Assad has pointed to Israel as perpetrating attacks in the war-torn country in order to bolster forces that seek to topple his Damascus regime.
In a preview of an interview with American magazine Foreign Affairs set to be published Monday, Assad said "it is very clear" that Israel's agenda is to back rebel forces.
He accused Israel as conducting air strikes in Syria, saying "whenever we make advances in some place, they attack in order to undermine the army. It’s very clear."
"That’s why some in Syria joke, 'How can you say that al-Qaida doesn’t have an air force? They have the Israeli air force'," he told Foreign Affairs.