Bashar al-Assad intv
Syrian Presidency
Bashar al-Assad intv
Now playing
01:24
Assad: US troops in Syria are 'invaders'
Syrian President Bashar al Assad drives through newly recaptured parts of Eastern Ghouta.
Syrian Presidency
Syrian President Bashar al Assad drives through newly recaptured parts of Eastern Ghouta.
Now playing
01:00
Syria's Bashar al-Assad visits Eastern Ghouta
Bashar Al-Assad
Russia Today
Bashar Al-Assad
Now playing
03:34
Syrian president rules unapologetically
A refugee from Syria prays after arriving on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos aboard an inflatable dinghy across the Aegean Sea from from Turkey on September 7, 2015. Greece sent troops and police reinforcements on September 6 to Lesbos after renewed clashes between police and migrants, the public broadcaster said, while Syrian refugees on the island were targeted with Molotov cocktail attacks. More than 230,000 people have landed on Greek shores this year and the numbers have soared in recent weeks as people seek to take advantage of the calm summer weather. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS        (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A refugee from Syria prays after arriving on the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos aboard an inflatable dinghy across the Aegean Sea from from Turkey on September 7, 2015. Greece sent troops and police reinforcements on September 6 to Lesbos after renewed clashes between police and migrants, the public broadcaster said, while Syrian refugees on the island were targeted with Molotov cocktail attacks. More than 230,000 people have landed on Greek shores this year and the numbers have soared in recent weeks as people seek to take advantage of the calm summer weather. AFP PHOTO / ANGELOS TZORTZINIS (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:55
The refugee crisis ... from the Syrian war to now
druze villages syria civil war liebermann dnt_00000906.jpg
druze villages syria civil war liebermann dnt_00000906.jpg
Now playing
01:59
Druze villages caught up in Syria's civil war
Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
Are al-Assad's days in power numbered?
syrian bombing of civilians un reacts gorani intv_00010629.jpg
syrian bombing of civilians un reacts gorani intv_00010629.jpg
Now playing
03:04
U.N. coordinator: Devastation in Syria is 'shocking'
ac dnt gupta white helmets syrian refugees medial aid _00011803.jpg
ac dnt gupta white helmets syrian refugees medial aid _00011803.jpg
Now playing
04:17
'White Helmets' bring medical aid to Syria
Caption:THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR A flag showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flutters near damaged buildings in Adra northeast of the capital Damascus on September 25, 2014. Syrian government troops recaptured an area of the key rebel-held town Adra used to house workers, after securing the highway and the industrial zone, a security source and monitoring group said. AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images
Caption:THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GOVERNMENT-GUIDED TOUR A flag showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flutters near damaged buildings in Adra northeast of the capital Damascus on September 25, 2014. Syrian government troops recaptured an area of the key rebel-held town Adra used to house workers, after securing the highway and the industrial zone, a security source and monitoring group said. AFP PHOTO / LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:55
Bashar-al-Assad's grip on Syria tested
pkg liebermann wounded syrian fighters_00004421.jpg
pkg liebermann wounded syrian fighters_00004421.jpg
Now playing
02:27
Syrians cross border into Israel for treatment
Fighters from a coalition of Islamist forces stand on a huge portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on March 29, 2015, in the Syrian city of Idlib, the second provincial capital to fall from government control.
Zein al-Rifai/AFP/Getty Images
Fighters from a coalition of Islamist forces stand on a huge portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on March 29, 2015, in the Syrian city of Idlib, the second provincial capital to fall from government control.
Now playing
05:54
Opposition General: Assad regime 'is falling apart'
erin dnt shubert chlorine gas attack syria_00005913.jpg
Syria Civil Defence
erin dnt shubert chlorine gas attack syria_00005913.jpg
Now playing
02:36
Chlorine gas attack reported in Syria
Reuters
Now playing
02:01
ISIS gaining ground near Syria's capital
UNHCR special enjoy Angelina Jolie makes a plea to the United Nations Security Council to urge countries to do more to protect refugees of the ongoing conflict in Syria. April 24, 2015.
UNHCR special enjoy Angelina Jolie makes a plea to the United Nations Security Council to urge countries to do more to protect refugees of the ongoing conflict in Syria. April 24, 2015.
Now playing
03:27
Angelina Jolie makes plea for Syrian refugees
pkg abdelaziz un weeps for syria_00003108.jpg
pkg abdelaziz un weeps for syria_00003108.jpg
Now playing
02:28
Horrifying video of potential gas attack in Syria
CBS
Now playing
03:34
Will the U.S. negotiate with Syria's Assad?

Story highlights

Syrian President: No 'concrete action' from Trump administration on ISIS

40 killed in Damascus bombings, Syria's SANA news outlet says

(CNN) —  

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad scoffed and questioned US actions in Syria, calling American troops deploying to the country “invaders” because he hadn’t given permission for them to enter the country and saying there’s been no “concrete action” from the Trump administration toward ISIS.

“Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one,” Assad said.

“And we don’t think this is going to help. What are they going to do? To fight ISIS? The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan, your neighboring country. They didn’t succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions.”

The Syrian leader made the comments in an interview with Chinese media outlet Phoenix TV. It was published on Syria’s state-news agency SANA on Saturday.

US Marines have arrived in northern Syria with artillery to support US-backed local forces fighting there, US officials said. The US-backed fighters are preparing to move in the coming weeks to assault the city of Raqqa, ISIS’ self-declared capital, according to the officials.

The Pentagon and the Marine Corps have declined to confirm the deployment because of security concerns in the region. They have also declined to specify the exact location of the forces or how many are there.

The US has also deployed approximately 100 Army Rangers in and around Manbij, Syria.

US officials have taken the unusual step of publicly talking about the Ranger deployment and where they are located to protect against them inadvertently coming under fire from forces fighting in the region or Turkish, Russian or Syrian forces.

The US troops in Manbij are trying to deter hostilities due to their visible presence, rather than the typical mission of training, advising and assisting local forces.

Room for cooperation?

In the interview, Assad was asked whether there can be room for cooperation between the United States and Syria.

In theory, Assad said, there could be cooperation between Syria and a Trump-led United States, but that there was no formal ties or outreach so far.

He said the Trump administration’s rhetoric during and after the presidential campaign focused on defeating ISIS and he called that “a promising approach to what’s happening in Syria and in Iraq, because we live in the same area and we face the same enemy.”

But he also said, “we haven’t seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric, because we’ve been seeing now certain is a local kind of raids.”

Assad said the approach toward terrorism needs to be “comprehensive” and not “local.”

“It cannot be from the air, it should be in cooperation with the troops on the ground, that’s why the Russians succeeded, since they supported the Syrian Army in pushing ISIS to shrink, not to expand as it used to be before that. So, we have hopes that this taking into consideration that talking about ISIS doesn’t mean talking about the whole terrorism; ISIS is one of the products, al-Nusra is another product, you have so many groups in Syria, they are not ISIS, but they are al Qaeda, they have the same background of the Wahabi extremist ideology,” he said.

Regarding advances made by Assad’s regime forces, he says they are closing in on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa.

“We are very close to Raqqa now. Yesterday, our troops reached the Euphrates River, which is very close to Raqqa city, and Raqqa is the stronghold of ISIS today, so it’s going to be a priority for us,” said Assad said.

He also said his military’s recent recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra blocked ISIS’s supply route between Iraq and Syria, and touted that whether he attacked Raqqa or just blocked the supply routes, “it has the same result”.

Damascus bombings

Twin blasts in Damascus on Saturday killed at least 40 Iraqi pilgrims and wounding 120 more, according to Iraq’s Foreign Ministry.

The twin blasts were caused by IEDs that targeted buses carrying Iraqi pilgrims visiting the Bab al-Saghir Cemetery in Damascus, according to Iraq’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Jamal in a statement.

CNN’s Schams Elwazer, Ben Wedeman and Kareen Khadder contributed to this report.