Coalition strikes against IS not working: Bashar al-Assad

 Coalition strikes against the Islamic State group are having no impact, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad said in an interview to be published Thursday, as leaders of the US-led offensive claimed to be winning.

AFP| Last Updated: Dec 03, 2014, 19:52 PM IST

Damascus: Coalition strikes against the Islamic State group are having no impact, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad said in an interview to be published Thursday, as leaders of the US-led offensive claimed to be winning.

"You can`t end terrorism with aerial strikes. Troops on the ground that know the land and can react are essential," he said in this week`s edition of French magazine Paris Match.

"That is why there haven`t been any tangible results in the two months of strikes led by the coalition.

"They would of course have helped had they been serious and efficient."

The US-led coalition of around 60 mainly Western and Arab states was formed several months after IS jihadists swept across northern Iraq, seizing swathes of territory and proclaiming a caliphate in parts of the country and neighbouring Syria.

On Wednesday, representatives of the countries involved in the coalition met in Brussels and issued a statement saying the IS group`s advance was finally being stopped.

"Participants noted that the global campaign against ISIL/Daesh is beginning to show results. The ISIL/Daesh advance across Syria and into Iraq is being halted," the statement said, referring to the group by its alternative names.