(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
An advisor to Syrian President Bashar Assad has said the six-year war is nearly over as foreign states cut backing for rebels, and vowed the government would confront any "illegitimate" forces, whether Turkish or American.
Bouthaina Shaaban said the fact that Syria was staging the Damascus International Fair for the first time in the war "sends a message that the war has ended ... and we are at the start of the path towards reconstruction."
With the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, Damascus has shored up its rule over much of the country's populated west. Now, it is marching eastward towards the Deir al-Zor region near the Iraqi border.
The war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, has reached its "penultimate stage" as foreign powers that backed rebels change their policies, Shaaban said in comments to Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV carried on Syrian state news agency SANA on Thursday.