Assad says fate of Middle East must only be decided by its people
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the fate of the Middle East must be decided by regional people rather than outside players.
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“The fate of the region must only be determined by the peoples of the region no matter how big the challenges become,” Assad said during a meeting with visiting Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad in Damascus on Sunday.
The Syrian leader then emphasized that the promotion of bilateral relations between Syria and Iraq will serve the interests of the two brotherly nations, and will help the complete annihilation of terrorism.
The Syrian president further emphasized that Damascus and Baghdad must preserve their sovereignty and independence in the face of regional and international developments as well as divisive schemes being hatched by outsiders.
Fayad, for his part, stated that Iraq regards Syria’s might and victory over terrorism as its own, and that any Iraqi military achievement will be in the best interest of Syria’s stability.
Iraq and Syria have been lately discussing the opening of border crossings between the two countries as well as the efforts made to hunt down remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in border areas.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
Former Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in the strategic northern city of Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – had made sweeping gains against Daesh.