Islamic State Isis fighter with flag
(Stringer/Reuters)

Is the anti-Isis coalition lacking seriousness? This is what Syria's President Bashar al-Assad seems to believe.

The alliance of 60 countries, some of which are "rich and advanced", are not serious about finishing off the Islamic State (Isis), Assad has claimed. He added the some coalition members would prefer the terrorist force continues to blackmail different countries.

To back his words, he pointed to the rate of airstrikes conducted by the anti-Isis coalition member states of only about 10 raids a day on the territory of both Syria and Iraq.

"The Syrian Air Force, which is very small in comparison to this coalition, conducts in a single day many times the number of the airstrikes conducted by a coalition which includes 60 countries," Assad told Rossiyskaya Gazet in an interview published on Friday 27 March.

"This doesn't make sense. This shows the lack of seriousness," he added. "They don't want to get rid of Isis completely."

There is "no serious effort to fight terrorism", he said, and "what is being achieved by the Syrian forces on the ground equals in one day what is being achieved by these states in weeks."

"An anti-terrorist coalition cannot consist of countries which are themselves supporters of terrorism," he said.

In Assad's view, the West does not have a political solution to the crisis in Syria, claiming it is only interested in destroying the government.

"They want to turn us into puppets. I do not think that the West has a political solution. It does not want one. When I say the West, I am primarily referring to the US, France, the UK. Other countries are secondary," he said.

Peacekeepers in Syria mean recognising Isis

Assad said: "The peacekeeping force is usually based between countries at war with each other. And when someone talks about sending peacekeepers to deal with IS, that acknowledges IS as a state. Such rhetoric is unacceptable and dangerous."

However, to put an end to ongoing armed conflict between Syrian government troops and international militants, countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as some European countries should stop arming the terrorists, the Syrian president claimed.

In February, the United Arab Emirates pulled out of the US-led air coalition against IS because of disagreements over whether to arm Sunni tribes on the ground in Iraq.