Assad Says France's "Flawed" Policy in Middle East Partly to Blame for Attacks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday condemned Friday's deadly attacks by the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Paris but said the West's "flawed" policies in Syria, especially that of France, was partly to blame.
ISIL has claimed responsibility for a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers that killed 127 people at locations across Paris. President Francois Hollande said amounted to an act of war against France.
France launched air strikes against ISIL in Syria in September, saying it wanted to prevent the group from carrying out attacks against French interests and protect Syrian civilians.
"The flawed policies pursued by Western countries and especially France as regards what is happening in our region ... contributed to the spread of terrorism," Assad was quoted as saying on Syrian state media, Reuters reported.
"What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring," he said. Assad met with a French delegation on Saturday, state media reported, though this appeared to be unconnected to Friday's attacks. The report gave no further details.
Assad has long warned that Western countries would end up paying dearly for aiding militants who have been fighting him in a campaign to topple his government since 2011.