Bashar al-Assad.jpg
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking during an interview with the Australian SBS TV channel, in Damascus, Syria, 28 June 2016.
Photograph: EPA/SANA

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview broadcast on Friday that the West secretly deals with his government while attacking it in public.

"This is the double standard of the West in general. They attack us politically and they send us their officials to deal with us under the table," he added in an interview for Australian SBS TV, according to Syria's state news agency SANA.

Western powers, including the United States, have repeatedly called on al-Assad to step down as a solution to the five-year conflict in Syria.

In the interview conducted in Damascus, al-Assad criticized the US, saying its policies have failed in Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

"They only created chaos. So, if the United States wants to create more chaos it can, it can create chaos, but can they solve the problem? No," he added.

The US is leading an air campaign of allies in Syria.

Al-Assad also criticized British officials, who allowed last week's vote to leave the European Union.

"Those officials who used to give me the advice about how to deal with the crisis in Syria, and say 'Assad must go' and 'He's disconnected' prove to be disconnected from reality," he said.

"I think this is a revolt of the people there against - I would call them sometimes second-tier - politicians."

In September, Russia started an air campaign in Syria in support of al-Assad, tipping the balance on the ground in favour of his forces. 

"When the Russian air support started, only at that time ... ISIS stopped expanding," al-Assad said, referring to the Islamic State extremist militia.

Syria's conflict started in March 2011 with peaceful anti-government protests that soon developed into a full-blown war.

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