Assad says Iran assisting regime with technology, not ground troops

Assad added that he will only leave power if the Syrian people demand that he step down.

Khamenei and Assad (photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)
Khamenei and Assad
(photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Russian media he would only quit power if the Syrian people wanted him to and not under pressure from the West.
"As for the president, he comes to power with the people's assent through elections, and if he leaves, he leaves if the people demand it, not because of the judgment of the United States, the UN Security Council, the Geneva Conference or the Geneva Communique," said Assad.
"If the people want him to stay the president stays. In the opposite case, he should swiftly step down."
The help of Iran, which had supplied military technology, had been crucial in fighting against terrorism in Syria, he said. But Tehran had not sent military units to Damascus, he added.
The US-led coalition had not been able to prevent the spread of Islamic state militants so far, he noted.