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Assad says Russia’s military presence in Syria should not be temporary

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Moscow: Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Sputnik that Russia’s military presence in Syria should not be temporary or be related to fighting terrorism only.

Sputnik was the first international news agency to interview the Syrian president right after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

“As for the political aspect, the issue of military bases should not be linked to the issue of combating terrorism. The fight against terrorism is today’s topic, but it is temporary. The Russian military presence in any country should not be based on anything temporary. We are talking about international balance, and the presence of Russia in Syria has a meaning related to the balance of power in the world as a country located on the Mediterranean Sea,” the president said.

“Superpowers today cannot defend themselves or play their role by staying within their own borders,” Assad said, adding that “they must go beyond them through regional allies around the world or through bases.”

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