Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke with the Russian RT network about recent Israeli strikes in Syria.

In the interview, published today, Thursday, Assad said that Israel’s assertion that Iranian troops were operating out of Syria was a “lie” to justify attacking Syria.

“We don’t have Iranian troops,” Assad said. “We always said that we have Iranian officers, but they work with our army, we don’t have [Iranian] troops,” he asserted.

He said we was not afraid of Israeli threats to "eliminate" him over his accommodation of Iran, claiming that Israel was in a “panic” over “losing its dear Al-Nusra and ISIS” terrorists in Syria.

“The Israelis have been assassinating, killing, occupying for decades now, for around seven decades, in this region, but usually they do all this without threatening. Now, why do they threaten in this way? This is panic, this is a kind of hysterical feeling because they are losing the ‘dear ones,’ the dear ones Al-Nusra and ISIS, that’s why Israel is panicking recently, and we understand their feeling.”

Assad also denied using chemical weapons in the city of Douma.

“Is it in our interest? Why, and why now?” he asked.

"If you go to that area and ask the civilians, [they will tell you] there was no chemical attack by anyone."

He asserted that the US strike on Syria following the Douma attack was a symbolic move, after the international community “didn’t buy their story.”

“They told a story, they told a lie, and the public opinion around the world and in the West didn’t buy their story, but they couldn’t withdraw. So, they had to do something, even on a smaller scale.”

He added that Syria was growing “much stronger than before” in its ability to resist Israeli strikes, “thanks to the Russian support. The recent attacks by the Israelis and by the Americans and British and French proved that we are in a better situation.”