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  1. ITV Report

President Assad says could retake all of Syria in 'few months' if other countries stopped interfering

President Bashar al-Assad Credit: NBC

President Bashar al-Assad has said he could have retaken the whole of Syria in a "few months" if other countries withdrew support for rebel and jihadi factions.

In an interview with NBC News, President Assad said winning the war depended on "many factors" including "how long are the supporters of the terrorists are going to keep supporting them?"

He said: "If you don't have that support, it won't take more than a few months."

He blamed Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for supporting the "terrorists".

Assad said it was Russian support which helped changed the direction of the civil war - which has killed more than 250,000 Syrians.

He said: "The Russian support of the Syrian army has tipped the scales against the terrorists. It was the crucial factor."

Since Russia intervened militarily, Syria has retaken a significant amount of territory.

However, the West has accused Russian forces of bombing civilian targets and Assad's moderate enemies - not jihadis.

Efforts to negotiate peace have failed and cease-fires have broken down.