Exclusive: Syria’s president said he would ‘welcome’ American troops into his country to fight ISIS

Michael Isikoff
Chief Investigative Correspondent

DAMASCUS – Syrian President Bashar Assad told Yahoo News he would “welcome” U.S. troops into his country as part of a “genuine” effort to fight terrorists that also includes a “rapprochement between the Russians and the Americans.”

Assad made the comments in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News amid reports that President Trump is considering sending more U.S. troops and Apache helicopters into Syria. “If the Americans are genuine, of course, they are welcome, like any other country that wants to defeat and to fight with the terrorists,” Assad said.

But, he added, any such move must include respect for “the sovereignty of Syria” as has been shown by his ally, Russia. Asked if he could see cooperation between the United States and Russia to attack ISIS in Syria, Assad replied that it was “essential” and called for a “rapprochment between the Russians and the Americans.”

Assad said he “of course” talks to the Russians all the time, adding that he last spoke with Russian President Putin “a few weeks ago” and discussed the “advancement of the Syrian army in Syria.”

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As with all interviews granted by President Bashar Assad, this interview was filmed by his presidential press office. No editorial changes were made to the content.

Full interview

Read more from the Yahoo News Exclusive interview with Syrian President Assad: