Europe must be wary of Syria-based terrorists trying to return home, the minister claims
Ayman Susan, Syria's deputy minister of expatriates and foreign affairs, believes the return of more than 5,000 terrorists could have a devastating impact on European security.
Speaking to Sputnik, Mr Susan said: "We have statistics that about 5,000 terrorists fighting in Syria have come from the EU countries.
"Imagine that these five thousand terrorists will return to Europe — they can do it… This will be a disaster for the security and stability of European countries and their population.”
The diplomat also condemned President Trump’s recent comments about Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad after the US leader branded him “an animal”.
Mr Susan added: "If you are an ‘animal’ yourself, there is no need to think that everyone else is the same.
Mr Susan blasted Trump's claim that Assad acted like 'an animal'
“Bashar al-Assad is the president of a sovereign state, he was elected by the people. And it’s the Syrian people who should give him descriptions, not Trump.”
The news comes after Assad described claims his government was involved in the deadly chemical gas attack was "100 per cent fabrication".
Horrifying acts of terrorism in pictures
Wed, April 12, 2017
Some of the most horrifying terrorist attacks of all time from 9/11 to Mumbai, these murderous acts killed several thousands of people and caused millions of pounds of damage to properties worldwide.
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9/11, September 11th bombings in 2001 is one of the worst and most murderous attack to date. Two hijacked planes were crashed into the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center in New York City, killing 2,800 people
Imagine that these five thousand terrorists will return to Europe — they can do it… This will be a disaster for the security and stability of European countries and their population
Speaking for the first time since the deadly attack on the rebel-held village of Khan Sheikhoun, Assad said there had been "no order to make any attack" adding, "even if we had (chemical weapons) we wouldn't use them".
Assad claimed the images of the children dying from the incident, which claimed the lives of 87 people, were "propaganda" designed to prompt a US missile strike days later.
The Syrian leader told AFP: "Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists.
Syria has been gripped by a brutal civil war for years
"They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack.
"It's not clear whether it happened or not, how can you verify a video? There are a lot of fake videos now.
"We don't know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun. Were they dead at all?"