Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with a Cuban news agency in this handout picture provided by SANA on July 21, 2016. SANA/Handout via REUTERS
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Syrian President Bashar Assad accused his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fierce critic, of exploiting a failed coup to "implement his own extremist agenda," in an interview published Thursday.Speaking to the official Cuban Prensa Latina agency, Assad declined to be drawn on whether he would have liked to see Erdogan ousted in last week's coup attempt.Erdogan has regularly called for Assad to leave office since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, and Damascus accuses Turkey's government of support for "terrorism". Despite once-warm ties, Syria and Turkey have become arch-foes since Erdogan sided with the opposition against Assad when the uprising began.The main political body of the Syrian opposition, the National Coalition, is based in Turkey, which also hosts millions of Syrian refugees.
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