‘Syrians want to take on Israel’, says Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzeborn)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzeborn)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a Lebanese TV station that there is popular support for opening up a new front against Israel.

In an interview with Al-Manar television, Mr Assad said: “There is pressure by the people to open a new front in the Golan, and even in the Arab world there is readiness to join the fight against Israel.”

Mr Assad commented on the recent attacks over the Syrian-Israeli border: “If we are going to retaliate against Israel, this retaliation should be a strategic response,” he said.

The interview included a discussion about the reports that Russia is sending several shipments of S-300 missiles to Syria.

Mr Assad commented: "All we have agreed on with Russia will be implemented and some of it has been implemented recently, and we and the Russians continue to implement these contracts.”

In the interview Mr Assad spoke about the Syrian National Coalition which is currently meeting in Istanbul to elect new leaders and discuss peace talks. He said of the opposition: “We know that we are going to negotiate with the countries that stand behind it [the opposition] and not to negotiate with them. When we speak with the slave, we are indirectly negotiating with the master.”

Last updated: 9:43am, May 31 2013