France’s ‘flawed’ Mid-East policy cost them: Syria

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday condemned Friday’s deadly attacks by Islamic State in Paris but said the West’s “flawed” policies in Syria, especially that of France, was partly to blame.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers that killed 127 people at locations across Paris. “What France suffered from – savage terror – is what the Syrian people have been enduring for over five years,” he said on Saturday, hours after the attacks in France.
President Assad added in a meeting with a delegation of French lawmakers in the Syrian capital that “mistaken policies” adopted by Paris have contributed to the “spread of terrorism” that led to the latest terror attacks in the European country.
The Syrian leader further said that Paris terrorist attacks cannot be separated from the bombings that took place in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Thursday and from what Syria has been enduring for the past five years.
On Thursday, a twin blasts claimed by Daesh Takfiri terrorists took 44 lives in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
The Syrian president said that he had warned “what would happen in Europe for the past three years” if its leaders continued with their policies but his warnings were not heeded.
“We said, don’t take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen.”
He also urged French President Francois Hollande to change his policy. “The question that is being asked throughout France today is, was France’s policy over the past five years the right one? The answer is no.”
France is among the Western countries that have been supporting the militants fighting against the Syrian government. As part of a US-led coalition, the country has also been conducting air raids against what it alleges to be Daesh positions in the violence-scarred Arab country.
President Assad complained back in May that the so-called coalition against Daesh does not aim to “do away” with the terror group, adding, “They want to use this terrorist structure for threatening and blackmailing other countries.”

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