0924 GMT February 18, 2020
Assad said in an interview with Russia's RT that the operation to kill Baghdadi was a trick, since US politics "are no different from Hollywood; it relies on the imagination. Not even science fiction, just mere imagination," Press TV wrote.
The Syrian president speculated that the Daesh leader may have been kidnapped, hidden or had his appearance surgically changed.
Trump said late last month that Baghdadi blew himself up, dying "like a dog," and "like a coward" after American forces trapped him inside a dead-end tunnel.
Russia was the first country to question the "contradictory details" of the US operation, which was also taken with a pinch of salt by many people in Iran, Iraq and elsewhere.
"The increase in the number of direct participants and countries allegedly taking part in this operation, each with completely contradictory details, raises legitimate questions and doubts about its reality and all the more in success,” Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said this month.
Turkey has said that Baghdadi was killed as a result of military and intelligence cooperation between Ankara and Washington.
‘Western sanctions desperate attempt'
In his interview, Assad also said sanctions imposed by the US and Europe against Syria initially aimed to pit people against the government.
Later, the renewal of the sanctions for almost a decade aimed to punish Syrian people for refusing to rise up to the government and bow to outside pressures.
Assad touched on Britain's seizure of an Iranian-operated supertanker in Gibraltar over accusations it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria in July as “piracy” that aimed to harm the Syrians for not upholding the West’s agenda.
"Those people were expected to rise against their government during the different stages of the war but they did not. They were supposed to support the terrorists – the 'moderate rebels' and 'angels' of White Helmets – but the people did not and stood with their government.
“So, they have to suffer. They have to pay the price and learn their lesson that they should stand with the agenda [of the West]," Assad said.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies aided Takfiri terrorist groups to wreak havoc and weaken the country.