Assad slams Netherlands, allies bombing of ISIS targets as “illegal”

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Should the Netherlands decide to extend the , that would be illegal, according to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. "This is illegal. This is against the international law. We are a sovereign country", he said in an interview with Nieuwsuur on Thursday.

According to the Syrian President, if the Netherlands is serious about fighting terrorism, the Dutch government should contact the Syrian government so that they can work together.

Assad also does not care that the Netherlands thinks he should be removed as president if there is to be peace in Syria. "If you accept as a Netherlands citizen that somebody in Syria tells you who is going to be your Prime Minister, we would accept it. But you don't accept it. And we don't accept it. As I say we are a sovereign country."

Nieuwsuur also discussed the Dutch jihadists traveling to Syria to fight in the civil war. According to Assad, the question should not be why are the jihadists coming to Syria, because that is logical - there is chaos and terrorism in the country. The question should be, why are they in Europe. According to him, European governments did not do enough to have the jihadists integrate. "If you live in a ghetto, you become an extremist. We don't export terrorists, they come to us and then go back to Europe. Like the three perpetrators in . They came from Europe, they don't live in Syria."

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