Assad says British bombing in Syria will fail, ridicules PM Cameron

A Royal Air Force's Tornado takes off from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, December 2, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

British air strikes on Islamic State will fail to defeat the militant group, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, mocking Prime Minister David Cameron’s strategy in the region.

British lawmakers approved the bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria on Thursday. Hours after that approval, the Royal Air Force struck the oilfields that Cameron’s government says are being used to fund attacks on the West.

Knife attacker slashes man in London metro after screaming ‘this is for Syria’

Speaking in an interview conducted before the vote in parliament, the result of which had been widely anticipated, Assad said Cameron’s strategy would make the situation worse, not better.

“They are going to fail again,” he said. “You cannot cut out part of the cancer. You have to extract it. This kind of operation is like cutting out part of the cancer. That will make it spread in the body faster.”

Police in London said they were treating a stabbing on Saturday as a terrorist incident after a man wielding a knife slashed another, screaming according to British media “this is for Syria”.

Assad ridiculed Cameron’s assertion that there are as many as 70,000 Western-backed opposition fighters in Syria who would open a political solution to the civil war and could retake territory from extremists weakened by the air strikes.

“This is a new episode in a long series of David Cameron’s classical farce … where are they? Where are the 70,000 moderates he is talking about? There is no 70,000. There is no 7,000.”