Assad creates refugees, endorses Trump ban turning them away


Trump has not yet set out a clear policy on Syria but has indicated he could cut USA support for insurgent groups and has said he wants to mend ties with Russian Federation, whose President Vladimir Putin is Assad's strongest global ally.

This did not stop Syria's contested dictator from telling French channel TF1 on Tuesday that Trump's travel ban is "not against the Syrian people".

Outgoing Hollande maintained former President Nikolas Sarkozy's position to support Syria's 2011 uprising against the Assad family rule.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad believes the executive order adopted by Donald Trump is meant for terrorists and not for Syrian citizens.

"The West can not choose what is better for Syria: I or the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia)".

The city is the so-called Islamic State's de-facto capital and has been a focus for coalition forces led by the US. The president has vowed to fight until he regains control of "every inch" of the country.

Disputes over the agenda have helped to torpedo previous rounds of Syria peace talks.

Meanwhile, the West has become "passive", Mr Assad said, and had twice lost their chance of achieving anything in Geneva - for which he blamed the US-led coalition for supporting what he called "terrorists" opposed to the Syrian government.

Regarding torture, he said, "We don't do this, it's not our policy".

Representatives from the Syrian government and rebel groups were holding fresh talks in Kazakhstan on Thursday with Russia, Turkey and Iran to bolster a fragile six-week ceasefire.

"We now want to get into the essence of the political process - the discussion of the political transition - and what the Geneva 1 communique stipulated about the formation of a transitional body with full powers", Muslit said.

One of the sources also said that the sides hoped that talks on Thursday would produce a joint document. "You have ISIL close to Damascus, you have them everywhere", he said.

A new round of broader, UN-backed peace talks is due to begin in Geneva next week.