Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said on Monday that fighting the “terrorists” in his country takes precedence to fighting Israel, reports Arutz Sheva, which points out that “terrorists” is the term the Syrian president routinely uses to describe the anti-regime rebels trying to topple him.
Speaking in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al Manar television, Assad hinted that Syria would not retaliate for last week’s Israeli airstrikes in Syria, which came after rockets from Syrian territory were fired onto the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.
“There are Syrian groups that work with the enemy – Israel and other enemies, and call on it to intervene in Syria,” Assad told the network, according to a translation on the Hebrew-language Walla! news website. “Therefore, the tools used by Israel (to intervene in Syria), which are more important that the latest aggression, are the terrorists in the country,” he continued.
“The actions of the terrorist organizations are more dangerous than what Israel did recently to support them,” the Syrian president claimed. “If we want to deal with Israel we must first deal with the tools that it uses in Syria.”