DAMASCUS, (ST)_ The terrorists are the most important real tool in the ongoing aggression against Syria, outlined H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad .
In an exclusive interview with the Lebanese al-Manar Satellite TV, aired Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. (GMT), President Al-Assad pointed out that encountering Israel deems it necessary for us to encounter its tools in the interior, asserting that Israel from time to time carries out acts in support to terrorists .
“What the terrorists have been perpetrating is far more dangerous than the Zionist enemy has been doing,” added H.E. President Al-Assad, pointing out that the Syrian experience is like the Lebanese one in the sense that there exist Syrian groups which accept to deal with the enemies.
In reply to another question, H.E. President Al-Assad outlined that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his Premier Ahmet Davutoglu have proved to be mere puppets.
President Al-Assad asserted that the Saudi state is still backing terrorism.
H.E. President Al-Assad appeared satisfied and self-confident of victory and asserted that there is the hope of victory by the Syrians against terrorism .
The popular support and backing the source of steadfastness and on the friends who support Syrian in the Middle East as well as in the world, added H.E. President Al-Assad.
The crisis in Syria is complex of which the essence is foreign interference, arms and support to terrorism , said President Al-Assad.
The fight against terrorists would be easier once foreign support to terrorists would be halted, underscored President Al-Assad.
The political track is to let all Syrian independent political forces come and talk but not those linked to foreigners financially and politically, President Al-Assad added, asserting that continued support to terrorism and foreign interference are a hurdle before solution.
President Al-Assad pointed out that the Constitution, laws, economic plans have all been amended, asserting that the recent visit by Foreign Minister al-Moallem to the Sultanate of Oman came within the course of bids as to find solutions to the crisis.
As to encounter Israel, its tools inside Syria should first be encountered, underlined President Al-Assad, lashing out at the presence of those who are ready to collaborate with Israel, which is shelling Syria.
The homeland is for those who defend and safeguard it. I say this transparently to the Syrian citizen and as to encourage the Syrian youth to join the defense of Syria, reiterated President Al-Assad.
The defense of the homeland is not only through arms citing the presence of Syrians who are abroad and defend Syria, which increases the immunity of Syria, added President Al-Assad.
In reply to another question, President Al-Assad said that the UN envoy De Mistura’s recent statements are biased , asserting that we supported his proposal regarding reconciliation in Aleppo, and Aleppo’s initiative was good but was buried before birth.
In reply to another question, H.E. President Al-Assad said that the Russian policy is principled and firm asserting that Russia doesn’t support a president but supports independency of a State and its self determination
“We trust the Russians who are transparent and sincere; the objective of the Russian is dialogue away from war,” added President Assad asserting that Geneva 3 or Moscow 3 depend on international conditions.
The Integrity and sovereignty of Syria and the base of fighting terrorism are the basics for any initiative, added President Al-Assad, adding that It should be a Syrian-Syrian solution in cooperation with the friends.
In reply to another question, H.E. President Al-Assad pointed out that there are some International organization which need a good manner certificate and cannot give certificates.
President Al-Assad expressed the belief that the Syrian factor might be a factor in the recently concluded P5+1 Nuclear agreement with Iran , asserting that Iran today has a wider horizon and Iran’s power is reflected on Syria and that the victory of Syria would support Iran .
True Arabism should be differentiated from some Arabs as should be the confusion between true Islam and those who exploit Islam, said President Al-Assad, asserting that Arabism is the identity and we cannot dispose of it, and that the Arab identity is not an option.
President Al-Assad added that the ongoing is to defeat the identity and we should not give the enemies what they want.
The battle of Syria and Iraq once united would yield better results, underscored President Al-Assad.
The Syrian State has the right to invite those who defend the Syrian people, said H.E. President Al-Assad describing His Eminence Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah as the genuine, sincere, principled honest and transparent resistant Leader.
In reply to another question, H.E. President Al-Assad pointed out that a ceasefire is made among states and we reject to use this term with terrorist groups on the grounds, asserting that in political work the need is achieve a goal and the priority for the Syrian Leadership, Army and Defense Forces is but to save human lives.
As for those who back terrorism and now would repent and are concerned that terrorism would reach them, we are not to reject such a miracle for the creation of an alliance against terrorism, outlined President Al-Assad.
Many of those foreign oppositions are imposed by foreign countries and do not represent the Syrian People, said President Al-Assad, citing the presence of a series of conspiracies against Syria by some states who train and support terrorism, which targeted Libya, Syria Egypt, the Yemen, and Iraq.
The USA was deceived by some Arab stances that the downing of regimes is possible and now they are in a lost phase, added President Al-Assad, pointing out that most of Arab countries are under the US dictates, including Jordan.
We are keen on relations with Egypt and communications among institutions have not been halted even at times of President Morsi, President Al-Assad declared, citing pressures put on Egypt as not to play the active role of important sisterly and active country.
The relations between Syria and Egypt achieve balance and Syria is in the same trench with the Egyptians against terrorists, said President Al-Assad, citing a recent high talks between Syrian and Egyptians intelligence officials.
Here is the official text of the interview as published by SANA:
In response to a question on Syria’s confidence in emerging victorious from the terrorist war waged on it and what this confidence is based on, President al-Assad said that if there hadn’t been hope of victory among the citizens, then Syria wouldn’t have persevered for four and a half year.
“This hope is the incentive for confronting terrorists and confronting the plot devised for Syria and applied in it like it was applied in a number of other Arab countries,” he said.
“We rely firstly on people, of course after relying on God, but if you don’t have public support then you cannot withstand. If you don’t have public support then there is no value for any political or national direction you adopt as a president or official or state. First, you rely on the people, and second on friends who stand firm alongside Syria and support in the region and in the world,” His Excellency said.
On the opinions that imply that the crisis in Syria is currently in its last quarter, President al-Assad said “I can’t say that we have reached the last quarter until the cessation of the basis of the problem in Syria which seems complicated and has many details and intertwined elements. But the essence of this problem is foreign interference, the paying of funds, and sending weapons and terrorists to Syria.
“When we reach the stage where the countries involved in conspiring on Syria and in shedding Syrian blood stop supporting terrorism, then we can say that we are in the last quarter, because other details that are called a political solution or a political track or anything similar become simple details and of little value, and when we say of little value this means that they aren’t essential in resolving the crisis, and they become details on which an agreement can be reached.”
His Excellency asserted that once foreign support stops, combating terrorists becomes much easier, and up until now that point hasn’t been reached, adding “the general atmosphere may show a shift, true, that shift exists, but a shift is one thing and reaching the end of the crisis is something else. It might be close; I’m not making things out to be melancholic or showing pessimism, but sometimes before reaching the last quarter, you witness a massive escalation. The escalation may be an indicator of reaching the last quarter, but we’re not there yet.”
On how everyone should interpret President al-Assad’s talk of a political solution, President al-Assad said that he doesn’t use the term “political solution” but rather the term “political track,” as the solution is the solution of a problem, and a solution consists of various sides including combating terrorism and a political side based on what was proposed during the beginning of the problem.
“It was proposed that the crisis had political causes. This is incorrect. As I said before, the cause is foreign interference, but we went along with all that was proposed. They said the problem is about the constitution, so we amended the constitution . They said the problem is about the laws, so we changed the law. They said the problem is about the economic track of the state’s economic policies, so we changed many of those policies at that time. We may be wrong, and they may be right, but at the same time we wanted to prove to others that those proposals were untrue,” President al-Assad explained.
“Now, they propose that there must be dialogue with political forces to reach a solution for the crisis, and we say there’s no reason not to do so; let those forces that present themselves as representatives of the Syrian people come and prove that they represent them or have influence, and we would hold dialogue with them without hesitation. This is what is called the political track.
“But in fact, for this political track to have an effect, it must be between Syrian independent political forces that belong to the Syrian people and have their roots in Syria and Syria alone, unlike what we see now in several of the forces we hold dialogue with that are bound financially and politically to foreign sides,” His Excellency said.
President al-Assad said that the political dialogue and track are essential not just to resolve the crisis, but also to develop Syria. However, the elements or environment necessary to have this dialogue reach final results haven’t coalesced yet, and this is accompanied by the continuing support for terrorism which constitutes a huge obstacle hindering any actual and productive political effort on the ground.
On the recent involvement of Oman and the visit paid to it by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem and how that may be one of the keys for solution, President al-Assad said that Oman has an important role in dealing with various points of tension in the region and cooling them down, leading to a solution, and it’s self-evident that the Foreign Minister’s visit is in the context of resolving the crisis, and it’s also self-evident that the Omani role is to help resolve the crisis.
His Excellency said that these meetings aimed to inform the Omani side about the Syrian vision of how to reach a solution, and at the same time they are assessing the regional and international conditions through their relations to achieve a specific thing, adding that it’s still too early to talk about the role Oman could play, as we should wait for this dialogue to proceed to see where things are going.
Regarding the repeated Israeli aggressions on Syrian territories that took place recently and how to deal with them, and if the Zionist enemy could create a different status quo in Syria or in the occupied Syrian Golan, President al-Assad said “if we look at Lebanon’s experience during the past few decades, what emboldened Israel against the Lebanese? It was the fact that some of the Lebanese were connected to foreign sides. Some of them were connected to Israel. Some called and begged for foreign interference in its various forms,” stressing that that gave an image and weakness, and thus the Israeli enemy was emboldened against Lebanon.
He said that the same thing applies to Syria, as when there are Syrian groups that accept to deal with enemies, whether Israel or other enemies, and calls them to interfere in Syria, then this would embolden others against Syria.
“Today, the main Israeli tool that is more important than that aggression are the terrorists in Syria, meaning that what they do is much more dangerous than what Israel does from time to time to support them. They are the basis of the problem. So, if we want to confront Israel, first we have to face its tools within Syria. You cannot confront an external enemy when you have an internal enemy. This matter must be resolved within Syria, and then things will be back to the way they were, and no-one would dare act against Syria; not Israel nor anyone else,” President al-Assad asserted.
On whether Israel’s awareness that Syria’s priority is fighting Takfiri terrorists made it rush into committing those aggression, President al-Assad said that this could be a contributing factor, but the main factor is that there are those who are ready to cooperate with the Israeli enemy, who are prepared to receive treatment in its hospitals, and who are audacious enough to praise Israel for attacking their homeland on social media.
The President stressed that the strength of a country is primarily based on the unity of the people before relying on its army or political system, and the greater part of the people are unified, but when there are elements of treason, extremism, and terrorism, then these points constitute weak points that cannot be ignored, and must be dealt with when other elements become secondary.
Regarding the change in the rules of engagement with the Israeli enemy, something which Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, had mentioned, President al-Assad said “Of course, taking into account the difference between Syria and Lebanon; the geographic difference and demographic deference in terms of borders. On the borders between the resistance and Israel, there is the Lebanese resistance on the Lebanese side, but on the borders between us and Israel, there are agents of Israel, ones that are similar to the Lahad army and Saad Haddad army in the past, therefore this issue must be dealt with before the geographic or political issues that follow.”
On the confusion regarding the interpretations of some of the things said by President al-Assad in his latest speech, specifically regarding the army and its influence and regarding “giving the country to Iran and Hezbollah,” His Excellency said “regarding the first point, I was clear and candid. There is no doubt that times of war lead to more army desertion cases. I said that clearly in the speech; I didn’t deny it and I speak transparently with the Syrian citizen. We don’t care what the malicious media says. This has a negative impact in any battle and in any army, and this happened even to the United States during the Vietnam War and to all armies. However, when this war is of a special type and you’re finding an enemy with limitless resources – particularly in terms of manpower – then its effect becomes stronger.”
On the issue of retreating from some areas, President al-Assad reiterated that retreating and advances occurred in the same areas in less than a month, which is natural in wars, and he focused on that point in his speech to motivate youths to join the armed forces.
Regarding the second point, which was raised when he said that “the homeland is for those who defend it,” President al-Assad said that this is correct, but defending the homeland isn’t done just by bearing arms, explaining “for example, adversaries and enemies want Syria to fall, or, in one of the stages if that isn’t possible, they wanted it to be paralyzed in all aspects of life to prepare for its fall. Everyone who stands against this paralysis is defending the homeland, everyone who is doing their daily work. Employees, businessmen, doctors treating patients, those who help the poor, those who try to spread patriotic values and high morals; all of those are defending the homeland.”
President al-Assad noted that there are those who are living abroad but defend Syria in whatever way they can based on their positions and resources, and all those are patriotic people, while at the same time there are people living in Syria who are wishing for NATO airstrikes or maybe foreign forces to enter on land, adding “I don’t mean presence in the literal meaning, nor defense in the literal meaning of carrying a gun; I mean everyone who is defending the homeland by making is more resilient and strengthening the elements that keep it standing in the face of attacks, and here I’m only talking about Syrians.”
On the evaluation of the work done by UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura, who continues to make accusations against the Syrian state in his statements, President al-Assad said “we’re used to this. It’s difficult for some to come with the approval of the United States and the West because they’re impartial. If that person were impartial, they wouldn’t have brought that person.
“Now we see those impartial statements. He talks about deaths among terrorists. Of course, for them, everyone who is killed is an innocent civilian as if there are no terrorists and as if they aren’t bearing arms. And at the same time, when there are civilian martyrs due to terrorists shelling Damascus or Aleppo or any other area in Syria with rockets, we hear no statements from them. This is the role they’re required to play, and if they don’t, they will have no place, and someone else will come instead. This is the truth.”
On whether de Mistura has a chance of steering the crisis towards a solution or if he’s just performing a role, President al-Assad said that when the envoy proposed the issue of reconciliation in Aleppo, the Syrian government supported it directly without hesitation, adding that in practice, issues in international relations aren’t based on trust because things change all the time; rather relations are based on mechanisms, and it isn’t an issue or personal relations, because relations among states or with organizations or figures representing states or organizations or the UN, then the relation is based on mechanisms.
“In order to say that we can proceed with de Mistura in his initiative, we have to wait to see which initiative is logical and what the suitable mechanisms to implement said initiative are. The Aleppo initiative was good, but there were no mechanisms and he wasn’t allowed to implement or propose mechanisms, therefore we weren’t able to support him because the initiative was stillborn,” President al-Assad explained, adding that this has been a recurring theme with mediators, adding “if they don’t propose something that suits us and suits our national interests, we won’t support them and we won’t proceed with them.”
President al-Assad addressed a question regarding the manipulations of statements in the media, particularly regarding the Russian position, where while Moscow asserts the strength of its relations with Syria and that it hasn’t abandoned it, U.S. President Obama comes up and claims that Russia and Iran believe that the situation isn’t in President al-Assad’s favor, with His Excellency saying that to figure out which is the more correct statement, one must look at the political course or performance of a state. Regarding Russia, the President said that evaluating it requires looking at its behavior for decades, how it treats states, peoples, friends, and opponents, and contrasting that behavior to the behavior of the U.S., at which point one would see where the truth lies.
“The United States, throughout its history, is elusive with its statement, and of course as time went on, this quality for the United States became the basis of policy. This means that what one official says, another official will contradict within days, and what one official says in the morning in a speech or a statement, they will say the opposite on the next day. This is one of the qualities of U.S. policies; abandoning allies, abandoning friends, backstabbing,” he said.
His Excellency said that on the other hand, Russia’s policy was never like, not during the days of the Soviet Union and not now, asserting that Russia’s policy is based on principles and growing more so, and therefore when the Russian Foreign Minister makes several statements and other officials make statements in the same context, it becomes obvious that Russia’s policy is concrete.
The President asserted that Russia doesn’t support individuals or a specific president, saying that this would be unacceptable and would constitute interference in internal affairs; rather Russia supports specific principles which are the sovereignty of state and people.
On Russian efforts now that Geneva 3 is looming, President al-Assad said “he have great trust in the Russians, and they proved throughout this crisis since four years ago that they are honest and transparent with us in relations and that they are principled. These are important points. So, when they meet various sides, we don’t feel concern that these sides might distort the true image for the Russians. The Russians have close relations with Syria and are capable of finding out about all that is happening accurately. We believe the goal of the Russians is to bring political sides towards dialogue to cut off calls for war.
“This is the goal, but in the end there won’t be an agreement over anything unless we Syrians sit with each other and hold dialogue with each other. It won’t be the Russians who impose any solution, so we encourage them to meet all forces and we are relieved when a Russian official meets any figure, without exception.”
His Excellency went on to say that these meetings seek to pave the way towards either Geneva 3 or Moscow 3, and this naturally depends on the international climate and not just Russia, as there are various forces involved with the United States at their forefront.
On whether these forces would go towards Geneva or Moscow, the President said that the difference is that Moscow 3 would work towards finding common denominators and therefore would make Geneva 3 easier and less likely to fail, which would avoid repeating the Geneva 1 and Geneva 2 scenarios that failed to achieve anything.
On the principles that set Syria’s position regarding any initiative, President al-Assad said that first among those is Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the decision of the Syrian people, which means that there can be no dictations from any side and any decision must be purely Syrian.
“Practically, there must be basis of any initiative that begins at and is based on combating terrorism. Any initiative that doesn’t contain an article on fighting terrorism as a priority has no value,” he asserted.
Regarding some proposals that suggest things like revising the constitution or holding elections under international supervision, His Excellency said that things like revising the constitution aren’t a problem as long as they result from a Syrian decision and from national dialogue and accord, but elections under international supervision are unacceptable as they constitute interference in sovereignty, adding “which international side is authorized to give us a certificate of good behavior? We don’t accept that.”
He noted that in the last presidential elections, a number of states sent observers in the context of cooperation, not in the context of supervision, and in this context there can be cooperation with friends to assert that what is happening in Syria is a proper and democratic political process.
“However, bringing in international organizations… international organizations need certificates of good behavior showing that they are impartial, and they are in no position to give us certificates,” the President added.
On the relation between the crisis in Syria and the nuclear Iranian deal, and whether Syria could be a victim in this regard or was an offering that provided gains, President al-Assad asserted that Syria is certainly not a victim, simply because it wasn’t a part of the nuclear negotiations, despite the fact that western forces tried to coerce Iran to have the Syrian issue become a part of the nuclear issue in order to get concessions from Iran regarding its support for Syria, but Iran was adamant and refused this completely, which was a correct, objective, and smart decision.
“Was Syria presented as an offering? Certainly not, but we could say that Syria made offerings,” the President elaborated, saying that when one’s allies are strong, that makes you strong, and when they are weakened, you are weakened as well, but saying that Syria’s steadfastness led to the nuclear deal is an oversimplification as the deal is the result of a long process began by the Iranian people a long time ago, with Iran withstanding pressure for 12 years and holding fast to its principles throughout the negotiations during the past two years.
“In this context, the steadfastness and unity of the Iranian people regarding the nuclear issue are the two most important factors that led to this achievement. As for the Syrian factor, perhaps I can’t be certain; the Iranians are best suited to specify this point, but it could have been one of the contributing factors,” he added.
In answer to a question on whether the world is heading toward a new form of coalition, with Syria possibly being closer to a coalition with Iran than with anyone else, President al-Assad said that the alliance between Syria and Iran is 35 years old, and so being allied to Iran and vice versa is nothing new, noting that when Iran was subjected to an unjust war, Syria stood by its side, and now that Syria is subjected to an unjust war, Iran is standing by its side.
Regarding the political scene after Syria emerges victorious and Iran’s potential role in it, President al-Assad said that what would change is probably is the influence of the Syrian-Iranian alliance on the international arena, because Iran now has more prospects to play a bigger role in it, and Iran’s strength will strength Syria, and in the same way Syria’s victory will be a victory for Iran.
His Excellency said that Syria and Iran share viewpoints and have mutual principles, and they form the axis of resistance, and so the principles will not change; only some tactics may change, or maybe some results on the ground.
In response to a question on the disillusionment of Syrians over the state of the Arab nation and whether he excuses that feeling, President al-Assad said “Excusing it doesn’t mean that we all purse that direction. We excuse him because conditions promoted citizens to turn against Arabism, and this is fact for most citizens. This promoted them to make no distinction between true, genuine Arabism and those who hide behind Arabism while in fact their hearts, minds, sentiments, and interests lie elsewhere that is completely outside the region.
“This is similar to what has happened in the past, maybe in several areas, but less than before; confusing those who exploit Islam like the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist and terrorist organizations with true Islam. There was confusion; they believed that all those who use the word Islam or Muslim are true Muslim. This confusion happens constantly.
“I would like to say to everyone who doubts or confuses the two issues that Arabism is an identity we cannot abandon. You belong to a family, and maybe one person or more from that family would treat you wrong, but even if you change your surname, you will continue to belong to that family in your upbringing, identity, nature, and everything about you. You cannot emerge from the identity. The Arab identity isn’t a choice; to belong to a religion and a nationality is your identity, and when you reach this point, this is what the enemies want: for us to disavow ourselves of our identity. The essence of the cause now and the wars that are happening isn’t about toppling regimes; rather this is a stage and a tool, nor is it about undermining states and economy. All those are tools. The final goal is undermining the identity, and when we reach that point preemptively, we’re giving the enemies a free present that precludes their need later for military intervention or for using terrorists.”
On the effect of the political activity in Iraq on the coordination between Syria and Iraq , the President asserted that coordination with Iraq hasn’t been affected negatively, as Iraqis are aware that they are embroiled in the same battle against a mutual enemy, and that what happens in Syria will reflect on Iraq and vice versa, so unifying the battle, like what is happening between Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, there will be better results in less time and at a lower cost.
Regarding what the difference is between the presence of Hezbollah fighters in Syria and the other side having foreign fighters, the President said that that difference lies in legitimacy, stressing that Hezbollah entered Syria through agreement with the Syrian state which is the legitimate, elected representative of the Syrian people and is supported by their majority, so the state has the right to invite forces to defend the Syrian people, while the other forces are terrorists who came to murder Syrians and against the will of the people and the state.
On the President’s relation with Nasrallah, His Excellency said that this relation is strong and dates back to more than 20 years ago, and any observer can see that this is a relation characterized by honesty and transparency, as Nasrallah is absolutely honest, transparent, principled, and loyal to his principles and his associates and friends to the extreme.
“The relationship is one of a resistant state and a true resistant figure who gave his son in defense of Lebanon,” President al-Assad said, adding that evaluating a relationship requires a third person to observe it and talk about it.
When asked about how the Syrian Armed Forces commit to ceasefire orders when they receive them, and who has the decision to uphold a ceasefire on the other side, President al-Assad said that this very issue was discussed with envoys who talked about ceasefire, noting that he rejects this term because ceasefire is between states and armies, not between a state and terrorist groups, so terms like “ceasing operations” or “appeasement” are preferred.
“However, we asked envoys the same thing; if you want a ceasefire, then which is the group and who is the leader? Who will commit to you? What are their numbers? They used to say that they estimate the presence of hundreds, or more than a thousand, some said 1,200 groups. Maybe after mergers now they’re in the hundreds. But you make a good point; there is no-one who can vouch for all those groups, although we know that they are subservient to other forces. So, we can’t say that these forces can hold those groups to a decision, because those groups are also involved in acts of robbery, theft, corruption, and immorality, and only commit to decisions when it suits them. Therefore, no group or state or side can make those sides comply with any appeasement or cessation of combat activity, even for a brief time,” the President said.
On how Syria can be a part of a coalition to fight terrorism alongside those it accuses of supporting terrorism , President al-Assad said that politics are about achieving goals, and goals must be in the interest of the Syrian people, so any alliance or act or step or dialogue that leads to stopping the shedding of Syrian blood must be a priority and must be pursued without hesitation.
“What concerns us is the result on the ground. Logically, as you said, it’s impossible for states that supported terrorism to fight terrorism, but there remains a slight chance that those states want to atone or realized that they were moving in the wrong direction, or maybe they have purely self-serving reasons and are worried over terrorism spreading to their countries, so they decided to fight terrorism. So, there is no objection. What matters is to manage to form an alliance that fights terrorism. The Syrian Foreign Minister said this would be a miracle… but what if it happened? Would we reject it? Of course we won’t reject it, we would pursue it,” His Excellency said.
On the escalation by Saudi Arabia against Syria, specifically the statements of the Saudi Foreign Minister following reports of Syrian-Saudi meetings, President al-Assad said that media escalation is of no concern, as what matters is actual practices of states, so when a state supports terrorism, then what value does media escalation or media appeasement have?
“This is what concerns us, and in the end the result is the same, meaning that with and without escalation, the Saudi sate supports terrorists in Syria, this is a fact that everyone knows, so escalation here is meaningless,” he said, adding that in terms of the verbal escalation, then Syria could respond in a similar manner and ask what one would expect from a group that hasn’t entered human civilization?
“Would one expect them discourse that is moral, objective, has a political dimension, or is wise? We shouldn’t expect any of those. If we do expect that, then the problem lies with us, not with them,” he said.
On the President’s statements in his last speech on opposition and how some observers said the opposition is treated as an incidental situation and not a deep-rooted situation capable of influencing public opinion, His Excellency reiterated that if dialogue is to produce results, it must be among patriotic Syrians whose roots are in Syria.
“But in dealing with reality, the most important question is who has influence? Meaning that if we hold an in-depth dialogue with patriotic figures that have no influence, and we reached results and said let’s apply these results and they say we have no influence on the ground, than what good is that dialogue? We would be wasting time,” he said.
President al-Assad stressed that dialogue must be with patriotic and influential figures, and while some have various levels of influence, the major problem is that most of those with whom dialogue is held aren’t patriotic, and this is something imposed by the states that support terrorism and interfere in dialogue, as those states want figures to represent them, not the Syrian people. Therefore, both patriotism and influence on the ground are the essential criteria, especially since terrorists have openly refused to deal with the so-called foreign opposition.
If Washington’s training for Syrian opposition figures was embarrassing or confusing to the Syrian accounts or not, President al-Assad said this is an episode in a long series, so if we were to worry, we have to worry about the series… This series is a continued conspiring one against Syria that will not stop at this crisis… this episode, in itself, would not change anything in the context of terrorism in Syria because if it wouldn’t train those, there are other countries that train others and there are other countries which support, send weapon and money… the track of events in Syria wouldn’t stop at this group… there is another thing which is bigger and more dangerous that we would worry about, it is the west’s disregard, on top the US, of the danger of terrorism in the whole region.
On the US stance and if it inclines into more strictness or into imposing recognition of fait accompli that is wouldn’t come in the interest of the US administration, the President said strictness or leniency is a feature of the US stance which doesn’t embody the reality of the US policy… strictness or leniency sometimes aims at a psychological war, sometimes sending messages to the lobbies inside the US, so reading those stances wouldn’t give the real image of the US stance.
As for the trueness of equation that “Syria is in return for Yemen,” President al-Assad said that this is proposed in media, but in reality, we didn’t hear from any friendly county, like Russia or Iran, and maybe Iran would be more concerned in this issue as it is located in the Gulf, but this issue was not proposed with us.
Answering a question about to any extent the Turkish speech would be taken seriously on the buffer zone and the possibility of implementing this, the President said Erdogan has dreams… big dreams to be a leader, to be a Muslim brotherhood sultan… he wants to merger between the experiment of Sultanate and that of the new Muslim brotherhood that he has built his big aspirations on… those dreams have collapsed now… the thing that remains to him now is that his masters respond to him as Erdogan and Davutoglu have proven in this crisis that they are mere dolls which have a big dream in Syria; which is the dream of buffer zone… it is the last dream after the failure of all their previous dreams in Syria.
on Jordan’s talk about a buffer zone and the presence of a joint, military and security operations’ room, President al-Assad said “it means Jordan talks about a Jordanian decision or a US decision… this is the question… so when a country or an official talks, we have to ask about the extent of independence of this official or country in order to express his opinion.
Answering a question on what Jordanian king wants from his involvement in the crisis in Syria, the President said “we return to the same question, is Jordan an independent state with its polices in order to ask it about its vision or the vision of its officials, until now, the majority of the Arab countries runs behind the US leash, they have no role.”
On the Syrian-Egyptian relations and the responsibility of Egypt for the delay of its return, President al-Assad said, undoubtedly, the relation among Syria, Egypt and Iraq has a peculiarity as these states are the base of Arab civilizations throughout history.
“There are a number of institutions in Egypt that rejected to sever the relation and continued communication with Syria, and we have listened to a national and pan-Arab discourse from them… I don’t want to hold the brothers in Egypt responsible… perhaps the conditions are very pressing… what we want, in the first phase, is that Egypt not to be a launch-pad against Syria or against others in the Arab countries, but in the second phase we want Egypt to play the role of the important country which helps the other Arab countries.”
On the possibility of Egypt to make use of the Syrian expertise in combating terrorism, the President said “what I have said about communication, a direct communication between us and them on the level of important officials… mainly security officials from Syria and Egypt in the last few weeks without fixing the time accurately.. they have a vision how to benefit from Syria… definitely through this communication, we will reach this point… the important thing now is that our expertise is deep in this domain through the last four years and through our conflict with the terrorist Muslim brotherhood at the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties.”
The President added that relations between Syria and Egypt are the ones which achieve balance on the Arab arena … Syria believes that it stands in the same trench with the Egyptian army and with the Egyptian people against terrorists who change their names.
As for additional measures to ease some livelihood crises regarding the Syrian citizen, President al-Assad said “we have began projects of reconstruction… they are most important for any country destroyed by war… these projects run with steady steps forwards and there are productive projects.
“In spite of all conditions, we still have capability to go ahead in economy… we have to make use of these conditions to take reform measures on the level of administration in the state, so the state has established a Ministry for administrative reform.”
AP intentionally “mis-reported” the Iran nuclear deal details.
A new controversy over a small facility on an Iranian military base at Parchin now threatens to blow up the support President Obama needs to get the Iranian nuclear agreement past Congress. Unfortunately, the controversy is the result of shoddy reporting and a poor understanding of nuclear inspections.
“Now we see those impartial statements. He talks about deaths among terrorists. Of course, for them, everyone who is killed is an innocent civilian as if there are no terrorists and as if they aren’t bearing arms. And at the same time, when there are civilian martyrs due to terrorists shelling Damascus or Aleppo or any other area in Syria with rockets, we hear no statements from them. This is the role they’re required to play, and if they don’t, they will have no place, and someone else will come instead. This is the truth.”
It is true that one seldom hears about civilian deaths caused by rebel groups. However, what fills me with some doubt are the frequent reports about civilian deaths caused by the Syrian army. How do we deal with this? While I understand that the Assad government is the only one that can actually protect its people at this point, and the only possible government that could offer some stability and progress to the country, there have also been many army bombings that have killed scores of civilians – or are all these reports untrue?
Q; However, what fills me with some doubt are the frequent reports about civilian deaths caused by the Syrian army.
R; I love to play chess [although I suck at it, due to my impatient, overall attitude], but western MSM tries to convince me I’m actually playing checkers, despite all the pawns, rooks, queen and king that are lying dead and scattered on the board.
I’m absolute not an Assad groupie, but the moment the collective ‘west’ steps in to bomb democracy into a country, I’m out…
Agreed. When I say “How to we deal with this?” I’m of course not talking about some Imperial Western “we” with a divine right to intervene left and right. It’s more directed at other readers, like how do we deal with it in our understanding of the Syrian conflict. As much as I would like to embrace Assad as the unequivocal good guy in this conflict, I don’t think I can do that. According to some online material, the government bombings in Syria have killed more civilians than Daesh. Makes the situation seem pretty hopeless, if that is true. And yes, I know there is a lot of propaganda out there and it’s difficult to know what to trust. But at least the Syrian government’s denials of civilian casualties seem pretty hollow to me.
As for your check/checkers metaphor, I’m not entirely sure what you mean… is it simply that things are more complicated than the MSM makes it out to be?
Q; …is it simply that things are more complicated than the MSM makes it out to be?
R; When a human organ eating individual tells me he’s all about justice and peace, I tend to think twice.
The number of dead Syrians [both civilians and military] is staggering [up to 310,000, according to some sources], but, as is usual in these kind of situations, with MSM parroting governmental idiosyncrasies as universal truths, it will be tough for mere mortals like you and me to sift through the
rublerubble and find shards of legitimate and verifiable claims [by any side].
People are losing their lives all around the globe [completely unnecessary and preventable] so this by Hillary heralded ‘international community’ must be a clay statue, a work in progress, depending on what crisis has to be triggered next.
The hypocrisy is sickening, but to be honest… it has been for many decades now.
This is the Western MSM controlled entirely by the Right, by Big Business, by Zionazis intent on destroying Syria and its society, so you can be CERTAIN that their reports are lies, because EVERYTHING they say is a lie. After Saddam’s WMD, Gaddafi and Lockerbie, the ‘liberation’ of Libya, the non-existent Iranian nukes program, Putin’s ‘aggression’ in Ukraine etc, and there are hundreds of similar lies, only a fool would believe a single word that they say.
That is a very complicated problem,that really has no answer.To me ,you deal with it by looking at the causes,and what is the purposes.Lets look at WW2 has an example.When the Soviets took back the areas taken by the nazis earlier in the Soviet Union.They had to take back the villages and cities after bitter fighting against nazi troops.Were many civilians killed in the liberation,yes.Did the liberation have to be done,yes.Would those civilians have been killed if the nazis hadn’t invaded and taken them over in the first place,no.Were the nazis going to leave without being driven out in house to house,street to street fighting,no.Did the nazis allow the civilians to leave instead of using them as human shields,no.Did the Soviets have any good choices to kill nazis,that didn’t involve civilian deaths as well,no.Exchange the Soviets for the Syrian army today,and we have the same situation.To liberate their country from the foreign backed terrorists they must take back the occupied areas.In doing that there will be civilian deaths.There is absolutely no way to get around that.We see the same thing on a smaller scale in Donbass.The reason some of the areas occupied by junta forces today haven’t been liberated is the reluctance of the NAF (a peoples militia) to kill civilians in the process of freeing the land.The Ukrainians put their forces among the civilian population knowing the NAF will try not to harm civilian areas.And then the Ukrainians use that fact as their protection to shell Donbass from those civilian areas they hold.Sooner or later the NAF will have to realize there is no other choice,and steel themselves to that fact.To win the war and free the land they will need to reconquer the occupied areas.And if civilians are harmed in the liberation it will be the tragic results of the Western backed coup,but unavoidable.
Thanks Uncle Bob for your thoughtful reply. The situation may indeed be quite similar. Will think about that.
I suggest you abandon the MSM entirely – particularly the Anglophone strain – if you wish to get the best approximation of truth.
Since both the US (Hiroshima, Nagasaki atomic bombs dropped on those entire cities) and the UK (Dresden destroyed by ariel bombardment, civilians bedamned) have long historical ‘form’ on wholesale destruction, I find your focus on Assad’s alleged ‘targeting’ a little too selective: you might question your sources first.
After years of exposure to the evil sewer of the Western MSM propaganda machine, it would be a miracle if these reports were NOT lies.
Having followed the Syria War closely for past 4yrs, in contact with many Syrians almost daily, and after viewing numerous Syrian Army and volunteer ‘citizen’ / not in any way state propaganda video interviews :
– President al Assad is called ‘Mr Softheart’ by all and sundry
(Yes – of course there are those who oppose him … but what %?! …. 80 countries ….supported, trained, armed by the wealthiest nations and strongest militaries in the world.
I’d put it far higher than 50% killed by the savages ….
make it the full 54 000 killed ..and let’s compare that to the numbers of just Iraqi children killed by sanctions alone >500 000 (they stopped counting at that stage) – that Mad Allbright deemed just fine and necessary …
How many killed in an illegal and amoral ‘Shock and Awe’ … 1,2million and counting
How many killed in a ‘NFZ’ Humanitarian Bombardment – where in fact 250 000 Al CIAda wahhabis, Academi etc hired guns were shipped in wearing Libyan uniforms and slaughtered 600 000 Libyans in absolute depraved barbarism ..sill ongoing.
There is no truth or justice in this world.
If there is such a thing as an “Ethical War” – then defending ones homeland from hired armed insurrectionists and invading savages is on the side of ethics …
and from what I’ve looked long and hard at – the Syrian army are operating with a high standard of accountability, discipline and ethics …
Of course there have been some who have engaged in theft of artifacts and less than honourable conduct …. but this is disciplined / not tolerated.
And of course there is “collateral damage” … Every one of them mourned along with very high losses of soldiers too.
However, what fills me with some doubt are the frequent reports about civilian deaths caused by the Syrian army. How do we deal with this?
What are your sources for this claim? Mod ME
God Bless His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the Sultan of Oman. A True Peace Maker.
Powerful. Thanks for this! Assad is an amazing President.I feel that the death of the USA empire of Terror falls on it’s face before Assad and Syria.As it does before the Palestinians, the Greek “No!” Merkel’s role as American stooge impoverishes the EU even more than the Troika does.
Assad’s statement regarding Russia seems to say Russia’s military won’t be allying with Syria. But I don’t think such a momentous happening would be announced during an interview.
off topic, but also interesting as the world highly manipulated staged situations are closing down and revealing the truth
Black budget ops, Hillary, meta-crimes
by Jon Rappoport
August 26, 2015
I looked up a link for this article and replaced the text with it. With long articles where there is no problem in posting or using a link to the article, please do not post the whole article. A short summary or a few quoted paragraphs is alright. Mod ME
This was an extremely intelligent interview. President Assad sees much, very clearly, and articulates its nuances in such a way as to make complicated subtleties concrete. I can see how he leads his people through the force of inspiration.
Syria in all its dealings declares and manifests the principles of its national sovereignty, as does Iran, as does Russia. So Assad says that ceasefires only happen between states and not between states and terrorists. This interview is like a civics class in sovereignty and international relations. And of course, it embraces a range of vocabulary and a rigor of thinking sadly absent from western discourse.
Assad’s pragmatism is astonishing, reminiscent of Putin but if anything even more pronounced. He welcomes the chance to join in counter-terrorism activities with those same states that support the very terrorism being fought – on the basis that the realities on the ground might just be changed. He has the even temper to speculate that the states supporting terrorism may not be acting with totally monolithic purpose, that there may be several reasons why their two hands would embrace different actions. And out of it all, the lot of the Syrian people may be improved.
I completely admire this man.
“President Assad sees much, very clearly, and articulates its nuances in such a way as to make complicated subtleties concrete.”
He see clearly because he was an opthamologist. Seriously — He was not into government things until he was forced into it.
“Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital, in London, specializing in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel was killed in a car crash, Bashar was recalled to Syria to take over Bassel’s role as heir apparent.”
So we are not talking about someone driven by desire for power (and blinded by it) or who likes political manipulation and games and all that, but a normal person — not one of ‘Those who seek power are not worthy of that power _Plato’.
yes, blue, I agree…I think Assad is a genuinely decent person…he even looks like it..and zuzim up there is being a bit trollish (as usual)…I don’t have the energy to converse with someone who’s attitude is the same day in day out, except to say….
Zuzim…why don’t you give your sources ?
Great joke, but also the perfect picture of the West – not the loss of husband but your embarrassment around the very concept of decency. This is why analysis of nations like Russia and Iran and Syria so often falls on its face by westerners. The west has lost all faith or expectation in the possibility that some people are simply straight shooters. That they have codes of conduct, moral and ethical guidelines that feel important to them. And that these qualities can be retained even in positions of power, which instead of power they regard as positions of great responsibility.
One day we must examine how the natural, inborn faculty of conscience has been driven out of western culture. It is a tremendous loss.
Your posts are always very powerful and joy to read. The Arabs (Semites) have lived in ME since Adam and Eve. Abrahamic religions were introduced to them, meaning the concept of Monotheism. Most of them converted to faith called, Yehudi. Later, most of the converted to Christians and eventually to Islam. Through out the ME these three religions and others have co-existed in peace and harmony. The early adherents of Jesus were Arabs and still are. Not the Greek/Romans who hijacked the religion.
Today in ME you hardly see those early adherents of Jesus and more. All the archaeological sites of early religions, Yehudi, Christians and Muslims are systemically being destroyed under the disguise of Islam being intolerance of idols. If this is true, why they survived from the inception of Islam until today, for more than 1400 years.
It is a concentrated effort that Jesus didn’t exist, and he is a myth. And, that Mohammad wasn’t born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and lived most of his life in both Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia.
No, Mohammad was born in Syria and history is being recreated.
I did not provide any sources this time because I figured it was common knowledge. That is, whether you believe these reports or not, it is common knowledge at least that there are plenty of reports about civilian casualties from bombings by the Syrian government. Not that I believe each one of these stories – the early accusations about a chemical weapon attack may well have been a false flag carried out by Saudis for instance (as Saker once commented).
Here are two out of many articles about this issue.
Both are from western media alright, but they also quote various Syrian people, Amnesty, some UN official and the like.
So, please do not take this as a case of trolling, but merely as a question: is there any truth to these reports… could they really be completely fabricated?
Zuzim, operating under the presumption that your inquiries are bonafide quests for information, I offer the following.
First, I don’t know why you cannot undertake you independent examination and come to your own conclusions. Why trust any response you procure here – do you own research and then add your opinion. If after such research you are truly stumped then an inquiry may be warranted, but simply using western MSM reports in the 2 media two sources cited, especially the BBC, makes one question the merits of your inquiry posted on this blog.
Secondly, do you really trust reports simply because it is purportedly by “various Syrian people”, Amnesty and the UN? One would hope not. Just because a source says they are Syrian doesn’t mean they are, or that they are impartial. Also, the demonstrated history of Amnesty International as being a propaganda arm of the AZ Empire is well known to readers of this blog site; as an aid, here’s a link for you: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27a/203.html
As to the two articles you linked to, if you care to critically analyze the reports in the articles you will find that both are premised upon information given by western backed NGO’s. The IBTimes article relies upon information by the “Syrian Network for Human Rights.” It didn’t take much research to to find out where it is headquartered, and from whom it draws funding. Are you surprised that it is registered in the United Kingdom? While it posts no physical address, it’s phone number is a British phone number. Care to guess to which international NGO it is principally tied? Open Democracy. It is a member of the “International Coalition for the Right to Protect.” Need I really say more?
By the way, I cannot find even a single report it issued that criticized the rebels for any attacks that killed civilians. Not one. Apparently only government forces kill people in Syria, not “rebels.”
The BBC article relies upon the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. You pose a query on this blog site based upon reporting by that NGO? Really? Once again, a British based NGO that has a demonstrated history of false reporting on the war. Don’t believe me – look it up. Here is one simple example: It was a lead source alleging that the Syrian Gov’t used sarin gas in Ghouta, when most of the (non AZEmpire) world (and some of us in the empire) knows that the rebels used the gas to draw NATO air forces into the war for “crossing the red line” ala the Libyan “No Fly Zone” resolution.
Some more background on this propaganda arm of the AZEmpire:
I hope that helped answer your query.
Let me add one more thing. If it seems that my “attitude is the same” whenever I write in comment threads, that may be because I usually don’t write anything when I am in full agreement with a blogpost, which is quite often. When I do write it is mostly because I agree 50 % and as for the rest I am not sure. I have no doubt that I got it wrong sometimes, in which case it is better to ask and perhaps be enlightened than to not ask and remain ignorant.
ok Zuzim, I’ve just noticed that was seems obvious to me…that MSM is full of it….this is what you always seem to ask questions about…by the way…do you think Assad looks like a zio criminal ? After 4 years ‘at the front lines’ so to speak ? Will you ever make a judgement based on a gut instinct ? Or just ask questions ?
Dear The Saker,
Thanks for posting this very informatie and interesting interview.
There is such a stark contrast when you read and listen to a true leader of a genuine soverign nation and a puppet leader of an occupied nation. No contrast. That’s why true leaders have the majority support of their people and respect.
Bashar Al Assad: A TRUE DEMOCRAT!!
He changed the Constitution to cope the “home opposition” demansd, and won the election. IN the new Constitution puts that Syrian natural resources and big industrie will belong to Syrian people and State. The new Constitution puts a minimum of Working and farmer class representatives in Syrian Parliament. What Western “liberal” Constitution states that?
In this interview, Assad continues the political line he tracked in 201.: all the dialogue about political matters, but oly with Syrian forces, which whom are to talk about and take this political decissions. No dialogue with foreign puppets.
Yes, thanks Saker for this wonderful interview. Gives one hope that good will triumph over evil
“Crimes” of Bashar al-Assad since June 2000
Construction and restoration of 10,000 mosques and 500 churches.
Construction and restoration of 8,000 schools, 2,000 institutes and 40 universities.
Construction of over 600,000 apartments / housing for youth.
Construction and modernization of more than 6,000 hospitals and clinics.
Establishment of five international industrial areas.
Syria opened 60 international banks.
Opening of Syria 5 telecommunications operators (Internet service providers and GSM).
Licenses for 20 independent newspapers and magazines and 5 TV stations by satellite.
thanks anon for this info, which I certainly would never have seen if you hadn’t posted it…yeah, Assad’s on the level of Putin and Xi and Nasrallah.
Thanks for the interview transcript Saker.
I had already read some of it elsewhere, but the full text really demonstrates Assad’s impressive intelligence, integrity and forensic grasp of political realities.
Throws the grandstanding, charlatanism and bluster of his opponents into sharp relief.
No wonder they want to get rid of him – he’s a real man of , and for his people.
An international war-crimes tribunal must lie in the future to bring some kind of redress to the outrages committed against the peoples of the MENA -Libya, Iraq, Yemen and, of course, Syria.
Assad would be the perfect leader for the initiative, with Putin and Iran’s backing.
President Assad is a good man, that is why he is hated by the governments of the West. Nowadays in the West, everything that is good is the new bad.
Carmel by the Sea