The Syrian army will regain control of the country\u2019s north by force if rebels there refuse to surrender, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with Russian television channel NTV on Sunday. Assad, who said in the same interview he would not accept Western funds to rebuild his country, was speaking after Damascus said it rejected the presence of Turkish and U.S. forces around the northern town of Manbij, a day after soldiers of the two countries began patrolling the area. \u201cWe have chosen two paths: the first and most important one is reconciliation. The second path is to attack terrorists if they don\u2019t surrender and refuse to make peace,\u201d Assad said in the interview. \u201cWe will fight with them (rebels) and return control by force. It is certainly not the best option for us, but it\u2019s the only way to get control of the country,\u201d said Assad, responding to a question about the northern part of Syria where rebel groups backed by Turkey hold some territory. Assad has previously promised to also squeeze rebels from the country\u2019s south, and a war monitor and rebel officials said on Friday that the Syrian army had dropped barrel bombs on opposition areas of the country\u2019s southwest for the first time in a year. Damascus denies using barrel bombs. Assad said in the same interview on Sunday that Syria would not accept any Western money to help rebuild the country, which is shattered after seven years of war. \u201cWe have enough strength to rebuild the country. If we don\u2019t have money - we will borrow from our friends, from Syrians living abroad,\u201d Assad said.