Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad continues to insist that there is no civil war in the country, but instead a new kind of battle that he calls “terrorism through proxies.”
Assad spoke in an interview on Friday and acknowledged that his troops are fighting a “tough war and a difficult war.”
The President added that if foreign countries would stop sending arms to the rebels, “I can tell [you] that in weeks we can finish everything,” reports USA Today.
The interview took place between Assad and Russia Today TV. The Syrian President stated that he doesn’t regret any decisions he has made since the uprising began in March 2011.
He spoke in English during the interview, which was broadcast in full by the Russian news station on Friday. Yahoo! News notes that Assad asserted:
“We do not have a civil war. It is about terrorism and the support coming from abroad to terrorists to destabilize Syria. This is our war. It is a new kind of war; terrorism through proxies, either Syrians living in Syria or foreign fighters coming from abroad. So, it is a new style of war, this is first, and you have to adapt to this style and it takes time, it is not easy.”
Assad also hinted during the interview that he intends to stay in power in Syria until at least 2014 when presidential elections are set to take place. He added, “I think for the president to stay or leave is a popular issue.” Most of the Syrian opposition groups fighting against the regime have said that they will not accept anything less than Assad leaving.
The country has seen at least 36,000 people killed since the uprising began in March 2011 and recently experienced the largest exodus of citizens fleeing the fighting when 11,000 people crossed the borders in just one day.