President Assad has used last week’s mass killings in Paris, including the deadly assault on the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, to exalt his fight against “terrorism”.

See Syria Feature: Full Assad Interview With Czech Newspaper

In an interview with a Czech newspaper, published in full on Thursday, Assad said, “When the issue is the killing of civilians, regardless of the political situation and whether we agree or disagree with those killed, it is terrorism. We are against killing innocents anywhere in the world.”

The President said of the attacks in France:

We sympathize with the families of those victims. At the same time we want people in the West to know that we warned of these consequences since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. We told West not to support terrorists and give them political cover, because everything will be reflected back on your country and your people. They did not listen to us.

He continued, “European policy should be held accountable for this event, because it is to blame for what is happening in our region, for what happened in France, and maybe even for what took place earlier in other European countries.”

Speaking about the situation in Syria, Assad declared, “We have to fight ignorance with culture and education. We should build a good economy to fight poverty.”