The Assad regime challenged United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Friday, only 24 hours after he left Damascus, by telling him not to equate it with “armed terrorist groups”.

In an effort to limit Brahimi’s consideration of the opposition groups to attend a proposed conference in Geneva — and to avoid any criticism of the regime — Information Minister Omran al-Zouri said Syrian military operations could not be compared with those of the insurgency: “The Syrian government’s conduct, work and arming the Syrian forces is a legal act that is consistent with the international law and enshrined in the Syrian Constitution.”

Al-Zoubi invoked “al-Qaeda” and the Islamist factions Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham to say that any equation with the regime is “incomprehensible, illogical, and biased”.

Al-Zoubi also challenged Brahimi not to pay too much attention to “Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Western countries”, claiming that some had refused to see him.

And the Information Minister seemed particularly sensitive to any reference to the humanitarian situation inside Syria, “Some certain outside party might have requested him to bring the subject up for media, using his press conference.”

(Featured Photo: UN envoy Brahimi meets President Assad earlier this week)