Syria's Assad: ISIS has expanded since start of US-led air strikes

President of embattled country says there are some estimates that Islamic State is attracting 1,000 recruits a month in Syria.

By REUTERS
March 30, 2015 10:50
1 minute read.
Bashar Assad

Bashar Assad. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a US television interview that Islamic State, which has seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, has been gaining recruits since the start of US-led air strikes against the militant group.

Asked how much benefit he was getting from the strikes in Syria that began last September, Assad told CBS' "60 Minutes: "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."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Assad, who has been fighting Islamist and other rebels since 2011, said in the interview aired on Sunday there were some estimates that Islamic State was attracting 1,000 recruits a month in Syria.

"And Iraq - they are expanding in - in Libya and - many other - al-Qaida affiliate organizations have announced their allegiance to ISIS. So that's the situation," Assad said, using another acronym for the militant group.

Washington is seeking a negotiated settlement to Syria's civil war that excludes Assad, but has made clear its top priority in Syria is the fight against Islamic State militants.

Asked under what circumstances he would leave power, Assad said: "When I don't have the public support. When I don't represent the Syrian interests, and values."

In reply to a question about how he determined what support he had among Syrians, he said: "I don't determine. I sense. I feel. I'm in contact with them."


Related Content

Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Tahrir square after presidential election r
July 17, 2018
Egypt to offer citizenship to foreigners for $400,000 deposit

By REUTERS