Syria's Assad dismisses reports Russia cooperating with Israel on air strikes


"They never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences", he told the British newspaper, according to Agence France Presse. "I think that this is understood and accepted by these leaders", he added, noting that the full departure of Iran and Iranian backed forces from Syria would be "a long process".

"The West is arrogant and has a narrow view of the world, and such approach makes dialogue impossible", Sablin said citing Assad.

In recent months Syrian government and allied forces have taken back the last besieged opposition area in Syria, north of Homs, and crushed the last rebel pockets near the capital.

Syria's conflict began in 2011 with peaceful protests against the Assad family's decades-long rule.

"Russia never coordinated with anyone against Syria, either politically or militarily", Assad said.

The leader also responded to allegations that Russian Federation has started coordinating with Israel in regards to strikes against targets in Syria. "How could they help the Syrian army advancing and at the same time work with our enemies in order to destroy our army?"

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According to a report by the Wall Street Journal released on Friday, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed militants near Israel's northern border are disguising themselves as Syrian forces in order to avoid detection by the Israeli Air Force. Two weeks ago, JOL reported that Israel and Russian Federation had reached an agreement to withdraw Iranian-backed forces from Syria's southern region, near the Israeli border.

Israeli energy minister and cabinet member Yuval Steinitz recently appeared to threaten that his nation could kill Assad if necessary to stop Iran.

A picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen in Ramouseh, a government controlled area of Aleppo Thomson Reuters BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied that military ally Russian Federation was making decisions for him, but said it was natural for there to be differences of opinion between allies, in an interview published on Sunday by state media.

Assad lambasted the American and British interventions, saying they were "breaching the sovereignty of Syria". At the same time, when asked about his time in London as a medical student, he admitted there were things he missed about the city.

Numerous foreign fighters, who in addition to Lebanese and Iranians include Iraqis and Afghans, have been issued Syrian identification cards, said Azam.

Despite his criticism of Western governments, Assad said his nation is "ready" to cooperate if they "change" their "political position".