PARIS - Syria's conflict will be long and difficult and its army cannot be everywhere at once, President Bashar Assad said in an interview published by a French magazine on Thursday, in which he also vowed to remain in power.
Assad told Paris Match no one could predict when the war with insurgents seeking to oust him would end but said enemies had failed to win over the population, allowing the military to advance.
In extracts published on Wednesday, Assad also said US-led air strikes in Syria since September were an "illegal intervention" that had made no difference in the fight against Islamic State militants who are fighting government forces.
"The Syrian army cannot be everywhere at once. Where it is not present, terrorists take the opportunity to cross borders and infiltrate in one area or another," said in the French language magazine in comments translated by Reuters.