Syrian President, Bashar Assad, has criticised the effectiveness of the US-led coalition in combatting the Islamic State group in his country, while at the same time praising Russia‘s efforts.


Speaking in Damascus to Czech broadcaster Czech TV on Sunday, Assad said that since the US-led coalition began its campaign, the Islamic State group has expanded, and that it only started being reduced again once the Russian bombing campaign began.


“The facts are telling”, the Syrian President said.


Assad also condemned his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over the downing of a Russian bomber near the Turkey-Syria border, saying he was putting “obstacles in front of any success” against the Islamic State group.


In a wide-ranging interview, Assad also criticised France’s response to this year’s extremists attacks there, expressed sadness at seeing hundreds of thousands of refugees leaving his country, and said he would hold dialogue with “anyone” regarding the future of Syria.