"We've had good relations with Russian Federation for more than six decades now, almost seven decades". "I will tell you that if the whole world comes together to force us to leave Syria, they will not be able to evict us", Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address, adding that only the Syrian leadership could ask them to leave.
Iranian and Russian support has been critical to Mr. Assad's war effort, but the different agendas of Mr. Assad's allies in Syria have become more apparent of late as Israel presses Russia to make sure Iran and its allies do not entrench their military sway in the country.
He also claimed that such interventions had slowed down a resolution to the situation in rebel-held areas of southwestern Syria.
Brief readouts from the Kremlin and Netanyahu's office said that the two leaders discussed a "Syrian settlement" and "Iran's military entrenchment in Syria".
Netanyahu has long warned that he will not allow Iran to solidify itself in Syria, arguing that such a scenario is a threat to Israel's national security.
It is suspected of carrying out numerous raids on Syrian government positions and Hezbollah weapons caches over the years, and last month announced unprecedented strikes on what it said were Tehran-operated bases in Syria. "How could they help the Syrian army advancing and at the same time work with our enemies in order to destroy our army?"
In his interview, Assad denied Moscow had ever had prior knowledge of such strikes, despite close cooperation between Israel and Russian Federation. He said that the uprising against his rule was part of a plot to remove a leader who did not go along with Western policies.
In the new interview, Assad also blasted the American and British governments for "interfering" with his nation's sovereignty.
"This is colonial policy, that's how we see it, and this is not new".
"They want to exchange information despite their governments being politically against ours, so we said".
This article has been adapted from its original source.