Russian Federation and Israel 'reach a deal' with Assad on Syrian territory

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Mr Assad denied attacking his own people and said the attack would not have been in the government's interest: "They told a story, they told a lie, and the public opinion around the world and in the West didn't buy their story, but they couldn't withdraw". If they did not agree to withdraw, he would use force, he said.

As for US President Donald Trump calling him "an animal", Assad said: "This is not my language, so I can not use similar language". They have to learn their lesson.

Syria's president is demanding the USA and its western allies to pull their troops out of the war-torn country. We don't have any other options, with the Americans or without the Americans.

Assad has hailed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for preventing a full-blown war ahead of US-led bombing attacks on suspected chemical weapons facilities across Syria. Hariri said there were now up to 100,000 Iranian or Iran-affiliated fighters in the country.

"Fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership", he added.

Russian Federation has managed to maintain close relations with regional rivals Israel and Iran as it provides decisive military support for the Assad regime in Syria's multi-sided civil war.

In an interview with Russia's RT television network on Thursday, Assad said that following the liberation of the cities of Aleppo, Dayr la-Zawr, Homs, and Damascus, the United States is actually "losing its cards".

Speaking to the Russian channel, Assad said he has opened the door to negotiations with the Kurdish-run administration while also preparing to "liberate by force".

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At present, all United States troops in Syria are within territory held by the Kurdish YPG.

Russian broadcaster RT asked Assad if he also had a nickname for Trump, to which the Syrian president answered: "This is not my language, so, I can not use similar language".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his government won't accept Iranian presence anywhere in Syria. "It represents him, and I think there is a well-known principle, that what you say is what you are".

Israel is satisfied with Russia's position on Iran's military presence in Syria, Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Gary Koren said in an interview with TASS.

The U.S. blamed the Assad government for the attack, which was launched in a rebel-held area. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have also deployed in the country.

Missiles fire is seen over Damascus on May 10 as Israel struck targets in Syria. (As if we didn't have enough on our plates already.) Assad is being backed by both the Russians and Iran.

Asked if there was anything Syria could do to stop Israeli air strikes, he said the only option was to improve air defences, "and we are doing that". Syria's air defenses were much stronger than before, thanks to Russian Federation, he added.