Assad: US-led air strikes have gained recruits for ISIL | News | Al Jazeera

Assad: US-led air strikes have gained recruits for ISIL

In US interview, president says some estimates show armed group is attracting 1,000 recruits a month in Syria.

    Assad said that ISIL was also expanding its reach in Iraq and Libya [EPA]
    Assad said that ISIL was also expanding its reach in Iraq and Libya [EPA]

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said in a US television interview that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has been gaining recruits since the start of US-led air strikes against the armed group.

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

    Asked how much benefit he was getting from the strikes in Syria that began last September, Assad told CBS' 60 Minutes programme: "Sometimes you could have local benefit but in general if you want to talk in terms of [ISIL], actually [ISIL] has expanded since the beginning of the strikes".

    Assad said that ISIL was also expanding its reach in Iraq and Libya.

    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 ISIL fighters.

    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".

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.