Syria’s President charged on Friday that the improvement in the relations between Turkey and Israel, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s apology for the deaths of Turks on the Mavi Marmara, is proof that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to destroy Syria.
"We cannot let stupid leaders destroy the relationship with Turkey," President Bashar Al-Assad attacked in the interview, which aired on Turkey’s Ulusal TV.
The Syrian president claimed that Turkey’s reconciliation with Israel is a "small part of Erdogan’s destruction of Syria."
“Because of the situation in Syria, Israel and Turkey united suddenly, this is proof," said Assad, adding, “Erdogan walked shoulder to shoulder with Israel. Our goal should be to maintain the relationship [between Syria and Turkey], not to destroy it."
Assad also attacked the Turkish prime minister over the civil war taking place in his country, saying, "Erdogan is taking advantage of what is happening in the region for his political future. He changed his attitude toward us and began to help terrorists. This is why the relationship with Turkey was destroyed."
In the interview, Assad also warned that if the Syrian government falls, other countries in the region could suffer.
He told Ulusal TV that neighboring states who should be allies instead are being influenced by foreign powers.
"A fight in Syria would affect countries in the region. And perhaps with a domino effect will impact faraway countries as well," Assad said. "The Arab states that have not supported the Syrian regime are those that are not independent actors but rather under the guidance of foreign countries."
Asked whether he would consider giving up power for the sake of stability, Assad said that the wishes of other countries do not affect him.
"I am an elected leader of the Syrian people," he said. "Whether I am a president is determined by the Syrian people, not by foreign states."
He singled out the United States as a nation that has "massacred millions" in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
In an excerpt of Friday’s interview published earlier this week, Assad accused Erdogan of not having said "a single word of truth" about Syria's conflict.
"Erdogan has not said a single word of truth since the beginning of the crisis in Syria," Assad said.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)