The Syrian army can defeat the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) and al-Qaeda if Jordan and Turkey stop the flow of jihadists across their borders, said the Syrian foreign minister.
In an interview with Iran’s state-run Press TV, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem also claimed that Syria can defeat ISIS without assistance from foreign troops. “The only thing we ask the international community is to remove the sources feeding the terrorists,” said Muallem, according to Kurdish media network Rudaw.
“There should be an international obligation to destroy the sources of terrorism,” said the Syrian official, referring to Turkey.
“Jordan and Turkey should exercise sufficient control over their borders. Should this happen, you will witness that the Syrian army will be able to defeat the [ISIS] group and the [al-Qaeda affiliated] al-Nusra Front,” he added.
The Syrian official acknowledged that boots on the ground are essential to defeating ISIS, but ruled out the use of foreign soldiers. “We ourselves have an army and popular forces that can carry out this mission,” he said. “Therefore, we do not need [foreign troops].”
The official also accused Saudi Arabia of financially supporting jihadi groups in Syria.
On Friday 13, the United Nations envoy to Syria claimed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “part of the solution” to the war in Syria.
The Obama administration supports the removal of Assad, but has not taken any official action to carry that out. President Obama has signed legislation to train and support rebels in Syria, and some rebels in Syria are fighting both Assad and ISIS.
Meanwhile, the Assad regime has been fighting against rebels, ISIS, and other jihadists.
ISIS controls large swaths of Syria, and a U.S.-led coalition has been launching airstrikes in Syria against the terrorist group since September.