Wednesday, December 3, 2014 2:58 pm
Coalition strikes against the Islamic State group are having no impact, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad said in an interview to be published Thursday, as leaders of the US-led offensive claimed to be winning.
“You can’t end terrorism with aerial strikes. Troops on the ground that know the land and can react are essential,” he said in this week’s edition of French magazine Paris Match.
“That is why there haven’t been any tangible results in the two months of strikes led by the coalition.
“They would of course have helped had they been serious and efficient.”
The US-led coalition of around 60 mainly Western and Arab states was formed several months after IS jihadists swept across northern Iraq, seizing swathes of territory and proclaiming a caliphate in parts of the country and neighbouring Syria.
On Wednesday, representatives of the countries involved in the coalition met in Brussels and issued a statement saying the IS group’s advance was finally being stopped.
“Participants noted that the global campaign against ISIL/Daesh is beginning to show results. The ISIL/Daesh advance across Syria and into Iraq is being halted,” the statement said, referring to the group by its alternative names.