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US characterized by threats, sanctions, support for terror, Assad says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (2nd-L) meets visiting US Republican Senator Richard Hayden Black in Damascus, Syria, on September 5, 2018. (Photo by SANA)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the policies of threats, sanctions as well as support for terrorism are typical of the US, calling on American statesmen to change their behavior and help establishment of global peace.

Speaking in a meeting with the visiting Senator for the US state of Virginia Richard Hayden Black in Damascus on Wednesday, Assad said that Washington has long resorted to threats, punitive measures as well as state terrorism, stressing that it will be of great benefit to American statesmen and nation if Washington opts to secure peace than to foment strife and destabilize world countries.

Black, for his part, said the policies enacted by successive American administrations vis-à-vis the Middle East have fostered mistrust among regional people and shattered their belief in all American strategies.

The US senator also lauded the return of life to many areas liberated from the scourge of terrorism, hoping that peace and stability would prevail all across Syria and terrorism is defeated.

This meeting comes as a new book has revealed that US President Donald Trump had allegedly demanded the assassination of Assad after a 2017 chemical attack that Washington blamed on Damascus.

According to an excerpt from the book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, the US president told Defense Secretary James Mattis that he intended to assassinate the Syrian leader, after Washington accused the government in Damascus of a suspected chemical weapons attack against the militant-held village of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib last year.

"Let's … kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the … lot of them," Trump told Mattis on the phone.

Mattis reportedly told Trump he would get "right on it" in an apparent attempt to pacify the president, but hung up the phone and instead told a senior aide, "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured," Woodward wrote.

On April 4, 2017, a suspected sarin gas attack hit the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib Province, killing more than 80 people.

Western countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus, with the US launching a missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in Syria’s Homs Province on April 7, 2017.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

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