Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the latest move by the U.N. to launch peace talks over Syria will fail if foreign states back ''terrorists,'' the Syrian government's term for rebels fighting to topple Assad from power. Mana Rabiee reports.
Syrian President Bashar al Assad says the latest U.N. effort to bring peace to Syria is doomed to fail -- IF foreign states continue to back what he calls the terrorists his government has been fighting. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN PRESIDENT, BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SAYING: "If we want to look at the conflict in Syria as only an internal conflict between Syrian factions, that's not realistic and that's not objective. Actually, the problem is not very complicated, but it became complicated because of external intervention." That "external intervention" has been aimed at helping moderate factions unseat Assad, while simultaneously fighting Islamc State. The undated interview in Damascus comes amid new efforts by the U.N. to bring about peace talks between all the Syrian factions and other countries, despite the failure of talks last year. The U.N. says its mediator to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, is already engaged in discussions on the process and is due to brief the U.N. Security Council later this month. But Assad continues to insist that the world needs to "let Syrians solve their problem". A problem that's now in its fifth year and is thought to have killed some 220,000 people.