Syria: Erdogan thinks he's Ottoman sultan, says Assad

Syrian president sees no war with Turkey on the horizon

09 November, 17:34

(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, NOVEMBER 9 - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan thinks he is a ''caliph'', Syrian President Bashar al Assad said in an interview with Russian television broadcast Friday.

''In his heart, Erdogan thinks he is a caliph, the new sultan of the Ottoman (empire) and that he can control the region like it was during the Ottoman empire'', Assad told state-run Russia Today television. However, Assad also said that he does not see ''a war between Syria and Turkey on the horizon'' and gave assurances that no artillery fire was shot intentionally by the Syrian forces towards Turkish territory. Furthermore, he stressed that the majority of Turkish population does not want a war. Assad would not rule out the hypothesis that the bombs landed in Turkey ''by mistake'' or ''because terrorists launched them''. He again proposed Ankara to form a joint commission with Syria to inquire on the matter.

According to Syrian president, no Western leader has contacted him to discuss the situation to find a solution. He also accused Western intelligence of offering the know-how support for the terrorists via Turkey and Lebanon.

As for the future leader of Syria, Assad said that ''only the ballot box can determine the future of the president'' and he warned about the possibility of a long, drawn-out conflict with rebels if they continue to receive foreign backing.



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