Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has branded President Donald Trump an ‘animal’, warning U.S. forces should learn the lesson of Iraq and leave his country. In an interview with pro-Putin news channel Russia Today, the Syrian dictator also claimed he will recover areas held by U.S.-backed militia ‘within a year’.

He said that direct conflict between Russian military and U.S. forces had been ‘close’ in Syria, and that it had only been avoided thanks to Putin’s leadership. Responding to Trump’s description of him as ‘Animal Assad’, the Syrian leader said: ‘What you say is what you are’.

 

Trump called Assad an animal after a suspected poison gas attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus in April.

 

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