TIME Syria

Assad Says U.S. Airstrike on Syrian Troops ‘Definitely Intentional’

"You don't commit a mistake for more than one hour"

Syrian President Bashar Assad says U.S. airstrikes on Syrian troops in the country’s east were “definitely intentional,” lasting for an hour, and blamed the U.S. for the collapse of a cease-fire deal brokered with Russia.

In an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus on Wednesday, Assad also said deadly U.S. airstrikes on Syrian troops last week were intentional, dismissing American officials’ statements that they were an accident. Assad said the U.S. lacked “the will” to join forces with Russia in fighting extremists.

He said his enemies alone were to blame for nearly six years of devastation across Syria, and while acknowledging some mistakes, he repeatedly denied any excesses by his troops. He said the war was only likely to “drag on” because of continued external support for his opponents.

The attack on the aid convoy outside Aleppo took place on Monday night, hitting a warehouse as aid workers unloaded cargo and triggering huge explosions. The Syrian president rejected accusations that Syrian or Russian planes struck the convoy and denied that his troops were preventing food from entering the rebel-held part of the city.

A senior U.S. administration official said the U.S. believes with a very high degree of confidence that a Russian-piloted aircraft carried out the strike. The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and asked for anonymity.

Assad dismissed the claims, saying whatever American officials say “has no credibility” and is “just lies.”

Like Syria Russia has denied carrying out the convoy bombing.

 

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