DAMASCUS,(ST)_In an interview with Turkey's Halk TV and Yurt paper, President Bashar Al-Assad called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan "bigoted" and said Ankara was allowing terrorists to cross into Syria to attack the army and Syrian civilians. 

"It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card because it is like a scorpion which won't hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity," President Al-Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV. 

"In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it." 

"Before the crisis, Erdogan had never mentioned reforms or democracy, he was never interested in these issues... Erdogan only wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to return to Syria, that was his main and core aim,..  Erdogan was only interested in how many Muslim Brotherhood members were released."  President Al-Assad outlined. 

In the said  interview, President Al-Assad again denied the Syrian army  had used chemical weapons and blamed such attacks on the "rebels". 

In response to a question on ruptured relations with Turkey, President Al-Assad said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) does not represent the entire Turkey, adding that relations are between the peoples of the two countries. 

 

“The AK Party will not succeed in its efforts to alienate the people of Turkey from the people of Syria. I mean, once the people of Turkey understand what is really happening in Syria, relations will be stronger than before. … We have to differentiate between [Turkish] rulers and people, particularly Erdoğan, Davutoğlu and those around them. Ties should not deteriorate due to their mistakes,” President Al-Assad said. 

Turkey has been using the refugees whom it is hosting to place pressure on the international community to take action against Syria, President Al-Assad pointed out, asserting that  Ankara is “terrorizing” the refugees into not returning to Syria,  and that Syria is trying to bring its citizens in other countries back home. 

President Al-Assad commented on the recent crisis between Turkey and Syria in which Turkish jets downed a Syrian helicopter, asserting that  the Syrian helicopter was monitoring the border after intelligence received suggested that scores of terrorists might cross into Syria from Turkey, and pointed out that  the helicopter was warned only when it was one kilometer inside Turkish airspace and was hit by Turkish jets while on its way back to Syrian airspace. 

Asserting  that the downing of the helicopter shows that Erdoğan wants to take advantage of this incident, President Al-Assad said the Turkish prime minister is aiming to spread animosity between the peoples of Turkey and Syria.

 

 

 

 

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