President Bashar al-Assad answers to the CBS journalist about Syria’s position on the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the actual crisis.
SHORT CLIP (from Presidency)
FULL INTERVIEW ORIGINAL ENGLISH
FRENCH SUBTITLES (part 1)
FRENCH SUBTITLES (part 2)
FRENCH SUBTITLES (part 3)
FRENCH SUBTITLES (part 4)
SHORT CLIP (ENG)
SHORT CLIP (ENG)
“We are against all the WMD, chemical and nuclear: not just me, but the Syrian government. In 2001 we proposed to the U.N. to get free, to empty, all the Middle East from the WMD. But the U.S. voted against the proposal”, president al-Assad said.
Some of you could tell why the U.S., which today pretend to be the paladins against chemical weapons, in 2001 opposed this prudent Syrian proposal? We imagine why … and what entity in reality they were covering up…and today as well…
President al-Assad’s interview with American CBS news
Damascus-President Bashar al-Assad interview to American CBS news
Following is the full text of the interview:
Charlie Rose: Mr. President thank you very much for this opportunity to talk to you at a very important moment because the President of the United States will address the nation this week and, as you know an important conversation is taking place in Washington and important things are happening here in your country. Do you expect an airstrike?
President al-Assad: As long as the United States doesn’t obey the international law and trample over the Charter of the United Nations we have to worry that any administration – not only this one – would do anything. According to the lies that we’ve been hearing for the last two weeks from high-ranking officials in the US administration we have to expect the worst.
Charlie Rose: Are you prepared?
President al-Assad: We’ve been living in difficult circumstances for the last two years and a half, and we prepare ourselves for every possibility. But that doesn’t mean if you’re prepared things will be better; it’s going to get worse with any foolish strike or stupid war.
Charlie Rose: What do you mean worse?
President al-Assad: Worse because of the repercussions because nobody can tell you the repercussions of the first strike. We’re talking about one region, bigger regions, not only about Syria. This interlinked region, this intermingled, interlocked, whatever you want to call it; if you strike somewhere, you have to expect the repercussions somewhere else in different forms in ways you don’t expect.
Charlie Rose: Are you suggesting that if in fact there is a strike; there will be repercussions against the United States from your friends in other countries like Iran or Hezbollah or others?
President al-Assad: As I said, this may take different forms: direct and indirect. Direct when people want to retaliate, or governments. Indirect when you’re going to have instability and the spread of terrorism all over the region that will influence the west directly.
Charlie Rose: Have you had conversations with Russia, with Iran or with Hezbollah about how to retaliate?
President al-Assad: We don’t discuss this issue as a government, but we discuss the repercussions, which is more important because sometimes repercussions could be more destroying than the strike itself. Any American strike will not destroy as much as the terrorists have already destroyed in Syria; sometimes the repercussions could be many doubles the strike itself.
Charlie Rose: But some have suggested that it might tip the balance in the favor of the rebels and lead to the overthrow of your government.
Any strike will be as direct support to Al-Qaeda
President al-Assad: Exactly. Any strike will be as direct support to Al-Qaeda offshoot that’s called Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. You’re right about this. It’s going to be direct support.
Charlie Rose: This is about chemical warfare. Let’s talk about that. Do you approve of the use of chemical warfare, the use of deadly chemicals? Do you think that it is an appropriate tool of war, to use chemicals?
President al-Assad: We are against any WMD, any weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical or nuclear.
Charlie Rose: So you’re against the use of chemical warfare?
President al-Assad: Yes, not only me. As a state, as a government, in 2001 we proposed to the United Nations to empty or to get rid of every WMD in the Middle East, and the United States stood against that proposal. This is our conviction and policy.
Charlie Rose: But you’re not a signatory to the chemical warfare agreement.
President al-Assad: Not yet.
Charlie Rose: Why not?
President al-Assad: Because Israel has WMD, and it has to sign, and Israel is occupying our land, so that’s we talked about the Middle East, not Syria, not Israel; it should be comprehensive.
Charlie Rose: Do you consider chemical warfare equivalent to nuclear warfare?
President al-Assad: I don’t know. We haven’t tried either.
Charlie Rose: But you know, you’re a head of state, and you understand the consequences of weapons that don’t discriminate.
President al-Assad: Technically, they’re not the same. But morally, it’s the same.
Charlie Rose: Morally, they are the same.
President al-Assad: They are the same, but at the end, killing is killing. Massacring is massacring. Sometimes you may kill tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands with very primitive armaments.
Charlie Rose: Then why do you have such a stockpile of chemical weapons?
President al-Assad: We don’t discuss this issue in public because we never said that we have it, and we never said that we don’t have it. It’s a Syrian issue; it’s a military issue we never discuss in public with anyone.
Charlie Rose: This is from the New York Times this morning: Syria’s leaders amassed one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons with help from the Soviet Union and Iran as well as Western European suppliers, and even a handful of American companies. According to American diplomatic cables and declassified intelligence records, you have amassed one of the largest supplies of chemical weapons in the world.
President al-Assad: To have or not to have is a possibility, but to depend on what media says is nonsense, or to depend on some of the reports of the intelligence is nonsense and that was proven when they invaded Iraq ten years ago and they said “Iraq has stockpiles of WMD” and it was proven after the invasion that this was false; it was fraud. So, we can’t depend on what one magazine wrote. But at the end, I said it’s something not to be discussed with anyone.
Charlie Rose: You accept that the world believes that you have a stockpile of chemical weapons?
President al-Assad: Who?
Charlie Rose: The world. The United States and other powers who also said that you have chemical weapons.
President al-Assad: It isn’t about what they believe in, it’s about the reality that we have, and this reality, we own it, we don’t have to discuss it.
Charlie Rose: Speaking of reality, what was the reality on August 21st? What happened in your judgment?
President al-Assad: We’re not in the area where the alleged chemical attack happened. I said alleged. We’re not sure that anything happened.
Charlie Rose: Even at this date, you’re not sure that chemical weapons – even though you have seen the video tape, even though you’ve seen the bodies, even though your own officials have been there.
President al-Assad: I haven’t finished. Our soldiers in another area were attacked chemically. Our soldiers – they went to the hospital as casualties because of chemical weapons, but in the area where they said the government used chemical weapons, we only had video and we only have pictures and allegations. We’re not there; our forces, our police, our institutions don’t exist there. How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidence? We’re not like the American administration, we’re not social media administration or government. We are a government that deals with reality. When we have evidence, we’ll announce it.
Charlie Rose: Well, as you know, Secretary Kerry has said there is evidence and that they saw rockets that fired from a region controlled by your forces into a region controlled by the rebels. They have evidence from satellite photographs of that. They have evidence of a message that was intercepted about chemical weapons, and soon thereafter there were other intercepted messages, so Secretary Kerry has presented what he views as conclusive evidence.
Kerry reminds about the big lie that Collin Powell said in front of the world on satellites about the WMD in Iraq
President al-Assad: No, he presented his confidence and his convictions. It’s not about confidence, it’s about evidence. The Russians have completely opposite evidence that the missiles were thrown from an area where the rebels control. This reminds me – what Kerry said – about the big lie that Collin Powell said in front of the world on satellites about the WMD in Iraq before going to war. He said “this is our evidence.” Actually, he gave false evidence. In this case, Kerry didn’t even present any evidence. He talked “we have evidence” and he didn’t present anything. Not yet, nothing so far; not a single shred of evidence.
Charlie Rose: Do you have some remorse for those bodies, those people, it is said to be up to at least a thousand or perhaps 1400, who were in Eastern Ghouta, who died?
President al-Assad: We feel pain for every Syrian victim.
Charlie Rose: What about the victims of this assault from chemical warfare?
President al-Assad: Dead is dead, killing is killing, crime is crime. When you feel pain, you feel pain about their family, about the loss that you have in your country, whether one person was killed or a hundred or a thousand. It’s a loss, it’s a crime, it’s a moral issue. We have family that we sit with, family that loved their dear ones. It’s not about how they are killed, it’s about that they are dead now; this is the bad thing.
Charlie Rose: But has there been any remorse or sadness on behalf of the Syrian people for what happened?
President al-Assad: I think sadness prevails in Syria now. We don’t feel anything else but sadness because we have this killing every day, whether with chemical or any other kind. It’s not about how. We feel with it every day.
Charlie Rose: But this was indiscriminate, and children were killed, and people who said goodbye to their children in the morning didn’t see them and will never see them again, in Ghouta.
President al-Assad: That is the case every day in Syria, that’s why you have to stop the killing. That’s why we have to stop the killing. But what do you mean by “indiscriminate” that you are talking about?
Charlie Rose: Well, the fact that chemical warfare is indiscriminate in who it kills, innocents as well as combatants.
President al-Assad: Yeah, but you’re not talking about evidence, you’re not talking about facts, we are talking about allegations. So, we’re not sure that if there’s chemical weapon used and who used it. We can’t talk about virtual things, we have to talk about facts.
Charlie Rose: It is said that your government delayed the United Nations observers from getting to Ghouta and that you denied and delayed the Red Cross then the Red Crescent from getting there to make observations and to help.
President al-Assad: The opposite happened, your government delayed because we asked for a delegation in March 2013 when the first attack happened in Aleppo in the north of Syria; they delayed it till just a few days before al-Ghouta when they sent those team, and the team itself said in its report that he did everything as he wanted. There was not a single obstacle.
Charlie Rose: But they said they were delayed in getting there, that they wanted to be there earlier.
President al-Assad: No, no, no; there was a conflict, there was fighting, they were shooting. That’s it. We didn’t prevent them from going anywhere. We asked them to come; why to delay them? Even if you want to take the American story, they say we used chemical weapons the same day the team or the investigation team came to Syria; is it logical? It’s not logical. Even if a country or army wanted to use such weapon, they should have waited a few days till the investigation finished its work. It’s not logical, the whole story doesn’t even hold together.
Charlie Rose: We’ll come back to it. If your government did not do it, despite the evidence, who did it?
President al-Assad: We have to be there to get the evidence like what happened in Aleppo when we had evidence. And because the United States didn’t send the team, we sent the evidence to the Russians.
Charlie Rose: But don’t you want to know the answer, if you don’t accept the evidence so far, as to who did this?
President al-Assad: The question is who threw chemicals on the same day on our soldiers. That’s the same question. Technically, not the soldiers. Soldiers don’t throw missiles on themselves. So, either the rebels, the terrorists, or a third party. We don’t have any clue yet. We have to be there to collect the evidences then we can give answer.
Charlie Rose: Well, the argument is made that the rebels don’t have their capability of using chemical weapons, they do not have the rockets and they do not have the supply of chemical weapons that you have, so therefore they could not have done it.
President al-Assad: First of all, they have rockets, and they’ve been throwing rockets on Damascus for months.
Charlie Rose: That carry chemical weapons?
President al-Assad: Rockets in general. They have the means – first. Second, the sarin gas that they’ve been talking about for the last weeks is a very primitive gas. You can have it done in the backyard of a house; it’s a very primitive gas. So, it’s not something complicated.
Charlie Rose: But this was not primitive. This was a terrible use of chemical weapons.
President al-Assad: Third, they used it in Aleppo in the north of Syria. Fourth, there’s a video on YouTube where the terrorists clearly make trials on a rabbit and kill the rabbit and said “this is how we’re going to kill the Syrian people.” Fifth, there’s a new video about one of those women who they consider as rebel or fighter who worked with those terrorists and she said “they didn’t tell us how to use the chemical weapons” and one of those weapons exploded in one of the tunnels and killed twelve. That’s what she said. Those are the evidence that we have. Anyway, the party who accused is the one who has to bring evidences. The United States accused Syria, and because you accused you have to bring evidence, this first of all. We have to find evidences when we are there.
Charlie Rose: What evidence would be sufficient for you?
President al-Assad: For example, in Aleppo we had the missile itself, and the material, and the sample from the sand, from the soil, and samples from the blood.
Charlie Rose: But the argument is made that your forces bombarded Ghouta soon thereafter with the intent of covering up evidence.
President al-Assad: How could bombardment cover the evidence? Technically, it doesn’t work. How? This is stupid to be frank, this is very stupid.
Charlie Rose: But you acknowledge the bombardment?
President al-Assad: Of course, there was a fight. That happens every day; now you can have it. But, let’s talk… we have indications, let me just finish this point, because how can use WMD while your troops are only 100 meters away from it? Is it logical? It doesn’t happen. It cannot be used like this. Anyone who’s not military knows this fact. Why do you use chemical weapons while you’re advancing? Last year was much more difficult than this year, and we didn’t use it.
Charlie Rose: There is this question too; if it was not you, does that mean that you don’t have control of your own chemical weapons and that perhaps they have fallen into the hands of other people who might want to use them?
President al-Assad: That implies that we have chemical weapons, first. That implies that it’s being used, second. So we cannot answer this question until we answer the first part and the second part. Third, let’s presume that a country or army has this weapon; this kind of armaments cannot be used by infantry for example or by anyone. This kind of armament should be used by specialized units, so it cannot be in the hand of anyone.
Charlie Rose: Well, exactly, that’s the point.
President al-Assad: Which is controlled centrally.
Charlie Rose: Ah, so you are saying that if in fact, your government did it, you would know about it and you would have approved it.
President al-Assad: I’m talking about a general case.
Charlie Rose: In general, you say if in fact it happened, I would have known about it and approved it. That’s the nature of centralized power.
President al-Assad: Generally, in every country, yes. I’m talking about the general rules, because I cannot discuss this point with you in detail unless I’m telling you what we have and what we don’t have, something I’m not going to discuss as I said at the very beginning, because this is a military issue that could not be discussed.
Charlie Rose: Do you question the New York Times article I read to you, saying you had a stockpile of chemical weapons? You’re not denying that.
President al-Assad: No, we don’t say yes, we don’t say no, because as long as this is classified, it shouldn’t be discussed.
Charlie Rose: The United States is prepared to launch a strike against your country because they believe chemical weapons are so abhorrent, that anybody who uses them crosses a red line, and that therefore, if they do that, they have to be taught a lesson so that they will not do it again.
President al-Assad: What red line? Who drew it?
Charlie Rose: The President says that it’s not just him, that the world has drawn it in their revulsion against the use of chemical weapons, that the world has drawn this red line.
We have our red lines: our sovereignty, our independence
President al-Assad: Not the world, because Obama drew that line, and Obama can draw lines for himself and his country, not for other countries. We have our red lines, like our sovereignty, our independence, while if you want to talk about world red lines, the United States used depleted uranium in Iraq, Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza, and nobody said anything. What about the red lines? We don’t see red lines. It’s political red lines.
Charlie Rose: The President is prepared to strike, and perhaps he’ll get the authorization of Congress or not. The question then is would you give up chemical weapons if it would prevent the President from authorizing a strike? Is that a deal you would accept?
President al-Assad: Again, you always imply that we have chemical weapons.
Charlie Rose: I have to, because that is the assumption of the President. That is his assumption, and he is the one that will order the strike.
President al-Assad: It’s his problem if he has an assumption, but for us in Syria, we have principles. We’d do anything to prevent the region from another crazy war. It’s not only Syria because it will start in Syria.
Charlie Rose: You’d do anything to prevent the region from having another crazy war?
President al-Assad: The region, yes.
Charlie Rose: You realize the consequences for you if there is a strike?
President al-Assad: It’s not about me. It’s about the region.
Charlie Rose: It’s about your country, it’s about your people.
President al-Assad: Of course, my country and me, we are part of this region, we’re not separated. We cannot discuss it as Syria or as me; it should be as part, as a whole, as comprehensive. That’s how we have to look at it.
Charlie Rose: Some ask why would you do it? It’s a stupid thing to do if you’re going to bring a strike down on your head by using chemical weapons. Others say you’d do it because A: you’re desperate, or the alternative, you do it because you want other people to fear you, because these are such fearful weapons that if the world knows you have them, and specifically your opponents in Syria, the rebels, then you have gotten away with it and they will live in fear, and that therefore, the President has to do something.
President al-Assad: You cannot be desperate when the army is making advances. That should have happened – if we take into consideration that this presumption is correct and this is reality – you use it when you’re in a desperate situation. So, our position is much better than before. So, this is not correct.
Charlie Rose: You think you’re winning the war.
President al-Assad: “Winning” is a subjective word, but we are making advancement. This is the correct word, because winning for some people is when you finish completely.
Charlie Rose: Then the argument is made that if you’re winning, it is because of the recent help you have got from Iran and from Hezbollah and additional supplies that have come to your side. People from outside Syria supporting you in the effort against the rebels.
President al-Assad: Iran doesn’t have any soldier in Syria, so how could Iran help me?
Charlie Rose: Supplies, weaponry?
President al-Assad: That’s all before the crisis. We always have this kind of cooperation.
Charlie Rose: Hezbollah, Hezbollah fighters have been here.
President al-Assad: Hezbollah fighters are on the borders with Lebanon where the terrorists attacked them. On the borders with Lebanon, this is where Hezbollah retaliated, and this is where we have cooperation, and that’s good.
Charlie Rose: Hezbollah forces are in Syria today?
President al-Assad: On the border area with Lebanon where they want to protect themselves and cooperate with us, but they don’t exist all over Syria. They cannot exist all over Syria anyway, for many reasons, but they exist on the borders.
Charlie Rose: What advice are you getting from the Russians?
President al-Assad: About?
Charlie Rose: About this war, about how to end this war.
Every friend of Syria is looking for peaceful solution
President al-Assad: Every friend of Syria is looking for peaceful solution, and we are convinced about that. We have this advice, and without this advice we are convinced about it.
Charlie Rose: Do you have a plan to end the war?
President al-Assad: Of course.
Charlie Rose: Which is?
President al-Assad: At the very beginning, it was fully political. When you have these terrorists, the first part of the same plan which is political should start with stopping the smuggling of terrorists coming from abroad, stopping the logistic support, the money, all kinds of support coming to these terrorists. This is the first part. Second, we can have national dialogue where different Syrian parties sit and discuss the future of Syria. Third, you can have interim government or transitional government. Then you have final elections, parliamentary elections, and you’re going to have presidential elections.
Charlie Rose: But the question is: would you meet with rebels today to discuss a negotiated settlement?
President al-Assad: In the initiative that we issued at the beginning of this year we said every party with no exceptions as long as they give up their armaments.
Charlie Rose: But you’ll meet with the rebels and anybody who’s fighting against you if they give up their weapons?
President al-Assad: We don’t have a problem.
Charlie Rose: Then they will say “you are not giving up your weapons, why should we give up our weapons?”
President al-Assad: Does a government give up its weapons? Have you heard about that before?
Charlie Rose: No, but rebels don’t normally give up their weapons either during the negotiations; they do that after a successful…
President al-Assad: The armament of the government is legal armament. Any other armament is not legal. So how can you compare? It’s completely different.
Charlie Rose: There’s an intense discussion going on about all the things we’re talking about in Washington, where if there’s a strike, it will emanate from the United States’ decision to do this. What do you want to say, in this very important week, in America, and in Washington, to the American people, the members of Congress, to the President of the United States?
President al-Assad: I think the most important part of this now is, let’s say the American people, but the polls show that the majority now don’t want a war, anywhere, not only against Syria, but the Congress is going to vote about this in a few days, and I think the Congress is elected by people, it represents the people, and works for their interest. The first question that they should ask themselves: what do wars give America, since Vietnam till now? Nothing. No political gain, no economic gain, no good reputation. The United States’ credibility is at an all-time low. So, this war is against the interest of the Untied States. Why? First, this war is going to support Al-Qaeda and the same people that killed Americans in the 11th of September. The second thing that we want to tell Congress, that they should ask and that what we expect them to ask this administration about the evidence that they have regarding the chemical story and allegations that they presented.
I wouldn’t tell the President or any other official, because we are disappointed by their behavior recently, because we expected this administration to be different from Bush’s administration. They are adopting the same doctrine with different accessories. That’s it. So if we want to expect something from this administration, it is not to be weak, to be strong to say that “we don’t have evidence,” that “we have to obey the international law”, that “we have to go back to the Security Council and the United Nations”.
Charlie Rose: The question remains; what can you say to the President who believes chemical weapons were used by your government; that this will not happen again.
President al-Assad: I will tell him very simply: present what you have as evidence to the public, be transparent.
Charlie Rose: And if he does? If he presents that evidence?
President al-Assad: This is where we can discuss the evidence, but he doesn’t have it. He didn’t present it because he doesn’t have it, Kerry doesn’t have it. No one in your administration has it. If they had it, they would have presented it to you as media from the first day.
Charlie Rose: They have presented it to the Congress.
President al-Assad: Nothing. Nothing was presented.
Charlie Rose: They’ve shown the Congress what they have, and the evidence they have, from satellite intercepted messages and the like.
President al-Assad: Nothing has been presented so far.
Charlie Rose: They have presented it to the Congress, sir.
President al-Assad: You are a reporter. Get this evidence and show it to the public in your country.
Charlie Rose: They’re presenting it to the public representative. You don’t show your evidence and what you’re doing and your plans to people within your own council. They’re showing it to the people’s representative who have to vote on an authorization to strike, and if they don’t find the evidence sufficient…
President al-Assad: First of all, we have the precedent of Collin Powell ten years ago, when he showed the evidence, it was false, and it was forged. This is first. Second, you want me to believe American evidence and don’t want me to believe the indications that we have. We live here, this is our reality.
Charlie Rose: Your indications are what?
President al-Assad: That the rebels or the terrorists used the chemical weapons in northern Aleppo five months ago.
Charlie Rose: And on August 21st?
President al-Assad: No, no, no. That was before. On the 21st, again they used it against our soldiers in our area where we control it, and our soldiers went to the hospital, you can see them if you want.
Charlie Rose: But Ghouta is not controlled by your forces, it’s controlled by the rebel forces. The area where that attack took place is controlled by rebel forces.
President al-Assad: What if they have stockpiles and they exploded because of the bombardment? What if they used the missile by mistake and attacked themselves by mistake?
Charlie Rose: Let me move to the question of whether a strike happens, and I touched on this before. You have had fair warning. Have you prepared by moving possible targets, are you moving targets within civilian populations, all the things that you might have done if you have time to do that and you have had clear warning that this might be coming?
President al-Assad: Syria is in a state of war since its land was occupied for more than four decades, and the nature of the frontier in Syria implies that most of the army is in inhabited areas, most of the centers are in inhabited areas. You hardly find any military base in distant areas from the cities unless it’s an airport or something like this, but most of the military bases or centers within inhabited areas.
Charlie Rose: Will there be attacks against American bases in the Middle East if there’s an airstrike?
President al-Assad: You should expect everything. Not necessarily through the government, the governments are not the only player in this region. You have different parties, different factions, you have different ideologies; you have everything in this region now. So, you have to expect that.
Charlie Rose: Tell me what you mean by “expect everything.”
President al-Assad: Expect every action.
Charlie Rose: Including chemical warfare?
President al-Assad: That depends. If the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have it, this could happen, I don’t know. I’m not a fortuneteller to tell you what’s going to happen.
Charlie Rose: But we’d like to know more, I think the President would like to know, the American people would like to know. If there is an attack, what might be the repercussions and who might be engaged in those repercussions?
President al-Assad: Okay, before the 11th of September, in my discussions with many officials of the United States, some of them are Congressmen, I used to say that “don’t deal with terrorists as playing games.” It’s a different story. You’re going to pay the price if you’re not wise in dealing with terrorists. We said you’re going to be repercussions of the mistaken way of dealing with it, of treating the terrorism, but nobody expected 11th of September. So, you cannot expect. It is difficult for anyone to tell you what is going to happen. It’s an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. You have to expect everything.
Charlie Rose: Let’s talk about the war today. A hundred thousand people dead. A million refugees. A country being destroyed. Do you take some responsibility for that?
President al-Assad: That depends on the decision that I took. From the first day I took the decision as President to defend my country. So, who killed? That’s another question. Actually, the terrorists have been killing our people since the beginning of this crisis two years and a half ago, and the Syrian people wanted the government and the state institutions and the army and the police to defend them, and that’s what happened. So we’re talking about the responsibility, my responsibility according to the Syrian constitution that said we have to defend ourselves.
Charlie Rose: Mr. President, you constantly say “it’s terrorists.” Most people look at the rebels and they say that Al-Qaeda and other forces from outside Syria are no more than 15 or 20 percent of the forces on the ground. The other 80% are Syrians, are defectors from your government, and defectors from your military. They are people who are Syrians who believe that their country should not be run by a dictator, should not be run by one family, and that they want a different government in their country. That’s 80% of the people fighting against you, not terrorists.
President al-Assad: We didn’t say that 80%, for example, or the majority or the vast majority, are foreigners. We said the vast majority are Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda offshoot organizations in this region. When you talk about Al-Qaeda it doesn’t matter if he’s Syrian or American or from Europe or from Asia or Africa. Al-Qaeda has one ideology and they go back to the same leadership in Afghanistan or in Syria or in Iraq. That’s the question. You have tens of thousands of foreigners, that’s definitely correct. We are fighting them on the ground and we know this.
Charlie Rose: But that’s 15 or 20% of this. That’s a realistic look at how many.
President al-Assad: Nobody knows because when they are dead and they are killed, they don’t have any ID. You look at their faces, they look foreigners, but where are they coming from? How precise this estimate is difficult to tell, but definitely the majority are Al-Qaeda. This is what concerns us, not the nationality. If you have Syrian Al-Qaeda, or Pakistani Al-Qaeda or Saudi Al-Qaeda, what’s the difference? What does it matter? The most important thing is that the majority are Al-Qaeda. We never said that the majority are not Syrians, but we said that the minority is what they call “free Syrian army.” That’s what we said.
Charlie Rose: Do you believe this is becoming a religious war?
President al-Assad: It started partly as a sectarian war in some areas, but now it’s not, because when you talk about sectarian war or religious war, you should have a very clear line between the sects and religions in Syria according to the geography and the demography in Syria, something we don’t have. So, it’s not religious war, but Al-Qaeda always use religions, Islam – actually, as a pretext and as a cover and as a mantle for their war and for their terrorism and for their killing and beheading and so on.
Charlie Rose: Why has this war lasted two and a half years?
President al-Assad: Because of the external interference, because there is an external agenda supported by, or let’s say led by the United States, the West, the petrodollar countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, and before was Qatar, and Turkey. That’s why it lasted two years and a half.
Charlie Rose: But what are they doing, those countries you cited?
The West wanted to undermine the Syrian positions
President al-Assad: They have different agendas. For the West, they wanted to undermine the Syrian positions. For the petrodollar countries like Saudi Arabia, they’re thinking undermining Syria will undermine Iran on sectarian basis. For Turkey, they think that if the Muslim Brotherhood take over the rest of the region, they will be very comfortable, they will be very happy, they will make sure that their political future is guaranteed. So they have different agendas and different goals.
Charlie Rose: But at the same time, as I said, you used Hezbollah and got support from Iran, from Russia. So, what is happening here. Is this a kind of war that exists because of support from outside Syria on both sides?
President al-Assad: This is cooperation, I don’t know what you mean by support. We have cooperation with countries for decades. Why talk about this cooperation now?
Charlie Rose: Then you tell me, what are you receiving from Iran?
President al-Assad: Political support. We have agreements with many countries including Iran, including Russia, including other countries that are about different things including armament. It’s cooperation like any cooperation between any two countries, which is normal. It’s not related to the crisis. You don’t call it support, because you pay money for what you get. So, you don’t call it support, it’s cooperation, call it whatever you want, but the word “support” is not precise. From Russia for example, we have political support, which is different from the cooperation. We have cooperation for 60 years now, but now we have political support.
Charlie Rose: Well, the Russians said they have ongoing support for you, but beyond just political cooperation. I mean they have treaties that existed with Syria.
President al-Assad: Exactly.
Charlie Rose: And they provide all kinds of defensive weapons.
President al-Assad: You said treaties, and a Russian official said; we have not agreement… contracts, that we have to fulfill, and those contracts are like any country; you buy armaments, you buy anything you want.
Charlie Rose: But do you believe this has become a conflict of Sunni vs. Shia’a?
President al-Assad: No, not yet. This is in the mind of the Saudis, and this is in the minds of the Wahabists.
Charlie Rose: And in the minds of the Iranians?
President al-Assad: No, no, actually what they are doing is the opposite. They tried to open channels with the Saudi, with many other Islamic entities in the region in order to talk about Islamic society, not Sunni and Shi’ite societies.
Charlie Rose: Was there a moment for you, when you saw the Arab spring approaching Syria, that you said “I’ve seen what happened in Libya, I’ve seen what happened in Tunisia, I’ve seen what happened in Egypt, it’s not gonna happen to Bashar al-al-Assad. I will fight anybody that tries to overthrow my regime with everything I have.”
President al-Assad: No, for one reason; because the first question that I ask: do I have public support or not. That is the first question that I asked as President. If I don’t have the public support, whether there’s the so-called “Arab spring” – it’s not spring, anyway – but whether we have this or we don’t, if you don’t have public support, you have to quit, you have to leave. If you have public support, in any circumstances you have to stay. That’s your mission, you have to help the people, you have to serve the people.
Charlie Rose: When you say “public support” people point to Syria and say a minority sect, Alawites, control a majority Sunni population, and they say “dictatorship” and they do it because it because of the force of their own instruments of power. That’s what you have, not public support, for this war against other Syrians.
President al-Assad: Now, it’s been two years and a half, ok? Two years and a half and Syria is still withstanding against the United States, the West, Saudi Arabia, the richest countries in this area, including Turkey, and, taking into consideration what your question implies, that even the big part or the bigger part of the Syrian population is against me, how can I withstand till today? Am I the superhuman or Superman, which is not the case!
Charlie Rose: Or you have a powerful army.
President al-Assad: The army is made of the people; it cannot be made of robots. It’s made of people.
Charlie Rose: Surely you’re not suggesting that this army is not at your will and the will of your family.
President al-Assad: What do you mean by “will of the family?”
Charlie Rose: The will of your family. Your brother is in the military. The military has been… every observer of Syria believes that this is a country controlled by your family and controlled by the Alawites who are your allies. That’s the control.
President al-Assad: If that situation was correct – what you’re mentioning – we wouldn’t have withstood for two years and a half. We would have disintegration of the army, disintegration of the whole institution in the state; we would have disintegration of Syria if that was the case. It can’t be tolerated in Syria. I’m talking about the normal reaction of the people. If it’s not a national army, it cannot have the support, and if it doesn’t have the public support of every sect, it cannot do its job and advance recently. It cannot. The army of the family doesn’t make national war.
Charlie Rose: Some will argue that you didn’t have this support because in fact the rebels were winning before you got the support of Hezbollah and an enlarged support from the Iranians, that you were losing and then they came in and gave you support so that you were able to at least start winning and produce at least a stalemate.
President al-Assad: No, the context is wrong, because talking about winning and losing is like if you’re talking about two armies fighting on two territories, which is not the case. Those are gangs, coming from abroad, infiltrate inhabited areas, kill the people, take their houses, and shoot at the army. The army cannot do the same, and the army doesn’t exist everywhere.
Charlie Rose: But they control a large part of your country.
President al-Assad: No, they went to every part there’s no army in it, and the army went to clean and get rid of them. They don’t go to attack the army in an area where the army occupied that area and took it from it. It’s completely different, it’s not correct, or it’s not precise what you’re talking about. So, it’s completely different. What the army is doing is cleaning those areas, and the indication that the army is strong is that it’s making advancement in that area. It never went to one area and couldn’t enter to it – that’s an indication. How could that army do that if it’s a family army or a sect army? What about the rest of the country who support the government? It’s not realistic, it doesn’t happen. Otherwise, the whole country will collapse.
Charlie Rose: One small point about American involvement here, the President’s gotten significant criticism because he has not supported the rebels more. As you know, there was an argument within his own counsels from Secretary of State Clinton, from CIA Director David Petraeus, from the Defense Department, Leon Penetta, Secretary of Defense, and others, that they should have helped the rebels two years ago, and we would be in a very different place, so the President has not given enough support to the rebels in the view of many people, and there’s criticism that when he made a recent decision to give support, it has not gotten to the rebels, because they worry about the composition.
President al-Assad: If the American administration want to support Al-Qaeda – go ahead. That’s what we have to tell them, go ahead and support Al-Qaeda, but don’t talk about rebels and free Syrian army. The majority of fighters now are Al-Qaeda. If you want to support them, you are supporting Al-Qaeda, you are creating havoc in the region, and if this region is not stable, the whole world cannot be stable.
Charlie Rose: With respect, sir, most people don’t believe the majority of forces are Al-Qaeda. Yes, there is a number of people who are Al-Qaeda affiliates and who are here who subscribe to the principles of Al-Qaeda, but that’s not the majority of the forces as you know. You know that the composition differs within the regions of Syria as to the forces that are fighting against your regime.
The American officials should learn to deal with reality
President al-Assad: The American officials should learn to deal with reality. Why did the United States fail in most of its wars? Because it always based its wars on the wrong information. So, whether they believe or not, this is not reality. I have to be very clear and very honest. I’m not asking them to believe if they don’t want to believe. This is reality, I’m telling you the reality from our country. We live here, we know what is happening, and they have to listen to people here. They cannot listen only to their media or to their research centers. They don’t live here; no one lives here but us. So, this is reality. If they want to believe, that’s good, that will help them understand the region and be more successful in their policies.
Charlie Rose: Many people think this is not a sustainable position here; that this war cannot continue, because the cost for Syria is too high. Too many deaths – a hundred thousand and counting, too many refugees, too much destruction; the soul of a country at risk. If it was for the good of the country, would you step down?
President al-Assad: That depends on the relation of me staying in this position and the conflict. We cannot discuss it just to say you have to step down. Step down, why, and what is the expected result? This is first. Second, when you’re in the middle of a storm, leaving your country just because you have to leave without any reasonable reason, it means you’re quitting your country and this is treason.
Charlie Rose: You say it would be treason for you to step down right now because of your obligation to the country?
President al-Assad: Unless the public wants you to quit.
Charlie Rose: And how will you determine that?
President al-Assad: By the two years and a half withstanding. Without the public support, we cannot withstand two years and a half. Look at the other countries, look what happened in Libya, in Tunisia and in Egypt.
Charlie Rose: You worry about that, what happened to Gaddafi?
President al-Assad: No, we are worried that rebels are taking control in many countries, and look at the results now. Are you satisfied as an American? What are the results? Nothing. Very bad – nothing good.
Charlie Rose: There was a report recently that you had talked about, or someone representing you had talked about some kind of deal in which you and your family would leave the country if you were guaranteed safe passage, if you were guaranteed that there would be no criminal prosecution. You’re aware of these reports?
President al-Assad: We had this guarantee from the first day of the crisis.
Charlie Rose: Because of the way you acted?
President al-Assad: No, because of the agenda that I talked about. Some of these agendas wanted me to quit, very simply, so they said “we have all the guarantees if you want to leave, and all the money and everything you want.” Of course, you just ignore that.
Charlie Rose: So, you’ve been offered that opportunity?
President al-Assad: Yeah, but it’s not about me, again, this fight is not my fight, it’s not the fight of the government; it’s the fight of the country, of the Syrian people. That’s how we look at it. It’s not about me.
Charlie Rose: It’s not about you?
President al-Assad: It’s about every Syrian.
Charlie Rose: How will this war end? I referred to this question earlier. What’s the endgame?
President al-Assad: It’s very simple; once the Western countries stop supporting those terrorists and making pressure on their puppet countries and client states like Saudi Arabia and Turkey and others, you’ll have no problem in Syria. It will be solved easily, because those fighters, the Syrian part that you’re talking about, lost its natural incubators in the Syrian society – they don’t have incubators anymore; that’s why they have incubators abroad. They need money from abroad, they need moral support and political support from abroad. They don’t have any grassroots, any incubator. So, when you stop the smuggling, we don’t have problems.
Charlie Rose: Yeah, but at the same time, as I’ve said before, you have support from abroad. There are those who say you will not be able to survive without the support of Russia and Iran. Your government would not be able to survive.
President al-Assad: No, it’s not me, I don’t have support. Not me; all Syria. Every agreement is between every class and every sector in Syria; government, people, trade, military, culture, everything; it’s like the cooperation between your country and any other country in the world. It’s the same cooperation. It’s not about me; it’s not support for the crisis.
Charlie Rose: I mean about your government. You say that the rebels only survive because they have support from Saudi Arabia and Turkey and the United States, and Qatar perhaps, and I’m saying you only survive because you have the support of Russia and Iran and Hezbollah.
External support can never substitute internal support
President al-Assad: No, the external support can never substitute internal support, it can never, for sure. And the example that we have to look at very well is Egypt and Tunisia; they have all the support from the West and from the Gulf and from most of the countries of the world. When they don’t have support within their country, they couldn’t continue more than – how many weeks? – three weeks. So, the only reason we stand here for two years and a half is because we have internal support, public support. So, any external support, if you want to call it support, let’s use this world, is… how to say… it’s going to be additional, but it’s not the base to depend on more than the Syrian support.
Charlie Rose: You and I talked about this before; we remember Hama and your father, Hafez al-Assad. He… ruthlessly… set out to eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood. Are you simply being your father’s son here?
President al-Assad: I don’t know what you mean by ruthlessly, I’ve never heard of soft war. Have you heard about soft war? There’s no soft war. War is war. Any war is ruthless. When you fight terrorists, you fight them like any other war.
Charlie Rose: So, the lessons you have here are the lessons you learned from your father and what he did in Hama, which, it is said, influenced you greatly in terms of your understanding of what you have to do.
President al-Assad: The question: what would you do as an American if the terrorists are invading your country from different areas and started killing tens of thousands of Americans?
Charlie Rose: You refer to them as terrorists, but in fact it is a popular revolution, people believe, against you, that was part of the Arab spring that influenced some of the other countries.
President al-Assad: Revolution should be Syrian, cannot be revolution imported from abroad.
Charlie Rose: It didn’t start from abroad; it started here.
President al-Assad: These people that started here, they support the government now against those rebels, that’s what you don’t know. What you don’t know as an American you don’t know as a reporter. That’s why talking about what happened at the very beginning is completely different from what is happening now – it’s not the same. There’s very high dynamic, things are changing on daily basis. It’s a completely different image. Those people who wanted revolution, they are cooperating with us.
Charlie Rose: I’m asking you again, is it in fact you’re being your father’s son and you believe that the only way to drive out people is to eliminate them the same way your father did?
President al-Assad: In being independent? Yes. In fighting terrorists? Yes. In defending the Syrian people and the country? Yes.
Charlie Rose: When I first interviewed you, there was talk of Bashar al-al-Assad… he’s the hope, he’s the reform. That’s not what they’re saying anymore.
President al-Assad: Who?
Charlie Rose: People who write about you, people who talk about you, people who analyze Syria and your regime.
President al-Assad: Exactly, the hope for an American is different from the hope of a Syrian. For me, I should be the hope of the Syrian, not any other one, not American, neither French, nor anyone in the world. I’m President to help the Syrian people. So, this question should start from the hope of the Syrian people, and if there is any change regarding that hope, we should ask the Syrian people, not anyone else in the world.
Charlie Rose: But now they say – their words – a butcher. Comparisons to the worst dictators that ever walked on the face of the Earth, comparing you to them. Using weapons that go beyond warfare. Everything they could say bad about a dictator, they’re now saying about you.
President al-Assad: First of all, when you have a doctor who cut the leg to prevent the patient from the gangrene if you have to, we don’t call butcher; you call him a doctor, and thank you for saving the lives. When you have terrorism, you have a war. When you have a war, you always have innocent lives that could be the victim of any war, so, we don’t have to discuss what the image in the west before discussing the image in Syria. That’s the question.
Charlie Rose: It’s not just the West. I mean it’s the East, and the Middle East, and, I mean, you know, the eyes of the world have been on Syria. We have seen atrocities on both sides, but on your side as well. They have seen brutality by a dictator that they say put you in a category with the worst.
President al-Assad: So we have to allow the terrorists to come and kill the Syrians and destroy the country much, much more. This is where you can be a good President? That’s what you imply.
Charlie Rose: But you can’t allow the idea that there’s opposition to your government from within Syria. That is not possible for you to imagine.
President al-Assad: To have opposition? We have it, and you can go and meet with them. We have some of them within the government, we have some of them outside the government. They are opposition. We have it.
Charlie Rose: But those are the people who have been fighting against you.
President al-Assad: Opposition is different from terrorism. Opposition is a political movement. Opposition doesn’t mean to take arms and kill people and destroy everything. Do you call the people in Los Angeles in the nineties – do you call them rebels or opposition? What did the British call the rebels less than two years ago in London? Did they call them opposition or rebels? Why should we call them opposition? They are rebels. They are not rebels even, they are beheading. This opposition, opposing country or government, by beheading? By barbecuing heads? By eating the hearts of your victim? Is that opposition? What do you call the people who attacked the two towers on the 11th of September? Opposition? Even if they’re not Americans, I know this, but some of them I think have nationality – I think one of them has American nationality. Do you call him opposition or terrorist? Why should you use a term in the United States and England and maybe other countries and use another term in Syria? This is a double standard that we don’t accept.
Charlie Rose: I once asked you what you fear the most and you said the end of Syria as a secular state. Is that end already here?
President al-Assad: According to what we’ve been seeing recently in the area where the terrorists control, where they ban people from going to schools, ban young men from shaving their beards, and women have to be covered from head to toe, and let’s say in brief they live the Taliban style in Afghanistan, completely the same style. With the time, yes we can be worried, because the secular state should reflect secular society, and this secular society, with the time, if you don’t get rid of those terrorists and these extremists and the Wahabi style, of course it will influence at least the new and the coming generations. So, we don’t say that we don’t have it, we’re still secular in Syria, but with the time, this secularism will be eroded.
Charlie Rose: Mr. President, thank you for allowing us to have this conversation about Syria and the war that is within as well as the future of the country. Thank you.
President al-Assad: Thank you for coming to Syria.
Al-Assad à CBS: toute agression contre la Syrie apporte un appui direct aux parties affiliées à al-Qaëda
Damas / SANA-R.B. L.A. / Le président Bachar al-Assad a affirmé que la Syrie fait tout son possible pour empêcher le déclenchement d’une guerre infernale dans la région.
Dans une interview accordée à la chaîne américaine CBS, le président al-Assad a indiqué que toute agression contre la Syrie est un appui direct aux parties affiliées à al-Qaëda, telles que le front al-Nosra et l’Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant.
Le président al-Assad a souligné que la Syrie a un plan politique pour mettre fin à la guerre, la première partie prévoit l’arrêt de l’envoi des terroristes de l’étranger et la deuxième envisage d’amorcer un dialogue national auquel prendront partie toutes les composantes syriennes pour discuter de l’avenir de la Syrie. “La troisième partie du plan est de former un gouvernement provisoire ou transitoire avant d’organiser des élections parlementaires et présidentielles”, a-t-il indiqué.
Le président al-Assad a précisé que la Syrie se trouve depuis deux ans et demi dans des circonstances difficiles mais qu’elle se prépare à toutes les éventualités.
“Cela ne signifie pas que les choses seront meilleures mais elles deviendront pires avec toute frappe insensée, vu que personne ne pourrait prédire les répercussions de la première frappe qui pourraient être plus destructrices que la frappe elle-même”, a-t-il ajouté.
Le président al-Assad a indiqué que lui, en tant qu’Etat et gouvernement, est contre toute arme de destruction massive, chimique ou nucléaire, précisant que la Syrie avait soumis aux Nations Unies en 2001 une proposition pour vider le Moyen-Orient des armes de destruction massive mais les Etats-Unis s’y étaient opposés.
A une question si la Syrie posséderait des entrepôts d’armes chimiques, le président al-Assad a indiqué que cette question est tout-à-fait syrienne et militaire qu’on ne doit pas discuter avec personne via l’information.
Le président al-Assad a réfuté être derrière l’attaque chimique du 21 août, précisant que Kerry n’a remis aucune preuve sur cette question. “Comment pourrait-on utiliser des armes de destruction dans une zone où nos soldats sont à une distance de moins de 100 mètres ? Ce n’est pas logique. Et pourquoi on utilise les armes chimiques alors qu’on progresse sur le terrain?”, s’est-il interrogé .
Il a souligné que la tristesse règne en Syrie soit en raison des armes chimiques ou d’autres armes et que c’est pour cela qu’on doit cesser les meurtres.
Le président al-Assad a indiqué que l’implication des Etats-Unis dans des guerres et des conflits au Moyen-Orient n’avait pas été une bonne expérience, depuis la guerre de Vietnam jusqu’à présent, rien d’acquis politique, ni économique, mais au contraire la crédibilité des Etats-Unis a atteint un niveau le plus bas.
A une question si des attaques contre des bases militaires au Moyen-Orient auront lieu au cas d’une frappe aérienne, le président al-Assad a répondu que toute chose est prévue non nécessairement à travers les gouvernements qui ne sont pas les seuls acteurs dans la région mais via d’autres parties, d’autres fractions et d’autres idéologies.
A une question sur la guerre en Syrie où 100 mille personnes ont été tuées, un million de réfugiés et le pays est la cible de la destruction, le président al-Assad a indiqué que les terroristes tuent le peuple syrien dès le début de la crise il y a deux ans et demi et le peuple syrien avait appelé le gouvernement, ses établissements et son armée à le défendre. “Ma responsabilité conformément à la constitution syrienne exige de défendre mon pays”, a-t-il ajouté.
Le président al-Assad a précisé que le prolongement de la guerre tout le long de deux ans et demi est dû à l’ingérence étrangère et à l’agenda extérieur soutenu et dirigé par les Etats-Unis, l’Occident et les pays de pétrodollar, notamment l’Arabie Saoudite et avant le Qatar, et par la Turquie, qui prétendent que démolir la Syrie entraînera la démolition de l’Iran sur une base confessionnelle.
Le président al-Assad a indiqué qu’il jouit de l’appui populaire sinon il va s’écarter ou bien il va quitter mais l’appui populaire lui implique d’aider et de servir le peuple. “Comment pourrais-je résister jusqu’ici sans l’appui du peuple sauf si vous seriez un homme surnaturel ou superman”, a-t-il précisé.
A la question sur si le pays et l’armée auraient été dominés par sa famille ou les Alaouites, le président al-Assad a répondu que l’armée nationale jouit de l’appui populaire apporté par toutes les communautés et que sans cet appui, l’armée n’aurait pas pu accomplir sa mission ou réaliser la dernière progression, ajoutant que l’armée de la famille ne pourrait pas mener une guerre nationale ni réaliser une progression dans les différentes régions.
Abordant les risques du développement de l’influence d’al-Qaïda dans la région, le président al-Assad a indiqué que la plupart des combattants en Syrie relèvent d’Al-Qaëda. “Si l’Administration américaine voudrait apporter l’appui à al-Qaëda qu’elle le fasse”, a-t-il indiqué, précisant que l’instabilité dans la région entraîne l’instabilité dans le monde tout entier.
Le président al-Assad a invité l’administration américaine à être réalistes en traitant avec les faits sur la base des informations justes, et non pas fausses pour bien comprendre la région.
Questionné sur sa disposition à quitter le pouvoir, le président al-Assad a souligné que quitter le pouvoir sans raison acceptable signifie abandonner la patrie, c’est à dire la trahison. Ajoutant que cela ne peut avoir lieu que si le peuple le veut.
“La bataille actuelle n’est pas mon bataille et non pas celle du gouvernement, mais elle est de tout le pays et du peuple syrien”, a fait savoir le président al-Assad.
Répondant à une question sur comment mettre fin à la guerre, le président al-Assad a souligné que quant les pays occidentaux cessent de soutenir les terroristes et exercent des pressions sur certains pays, tels que l’Arabie Saoudite, la Turquie et autre, le problème serait résolu tout simplement, rappelant que les combattants terroristes, qui ont perdu leur couveuse sociale, ont besoin du soutien moral et politique de l’étranger.
Abordant la question de l’opposition, le président al-Assad a souligné que l’opposition, est un mouvement politique qui se diffère du terrorisme, ne porte pas l’arme, ne tue pas les civiles et ne détruit pas le pays.
Le président al-Assad a averti, enfin, que si la Syrie ne s’est pas débarrassé des terroristes et des extrémistes wahhabites, l’Etat perdra son aspect laïc.
Presidente al-Assad a la cadena estadounidense CBS: cualquier agresión contra Siria sería apoyo directo a los grupos de al-Qaeda
Damasco, SANA (Fady Marouf & Eba Kh.) – Entrevistado por la cadena estadounidense “CBS”, el Presidente Bashar al-Assad, afirmó que “cualquier agresión contra Siria sería un apoyo directo a los grupos afiliados a al-Qaeda como el Frente al-Nousra y el Estado Islámico en Irak y Siria”, y añadió: “vamos a hacer todo para evitar una guerra loca en la región”.
El presidente señaló que “no se trata de Siria solamente sino de toda la región y el mundo”, y reafirmó que “Siria está en contra del uso de cualquier arma de destrucción masiva, sea química o nuclear”.
Asimismo explicó que “Siria tiene un plan político para poner fin a la guerra, la primera parte de este plan empieza con detener la infiltración de los terroristas provenientes del extranjero y parar el apoyo logístico y financiero, y todo tipo de ayuda para estos terroristas; la segunda parte consiste en iniciar un diálogo nacional donde todas las partes sirias se reunirán para discutir el futuro de Siria; mientras que la tercera parte del plan se basa en la formación de un gobierno provisional o transitorio, y luego, se celebrarán elecciones parlamentarias y presidenciales”.
Sobre un posible ataque aéreo contra Siria, el presidente al-Assad dijo, “siempre que Estados Unidos no respeta el Derecho Internacional y pisotea la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, nosotros vamos a seguir preocupándonos por la posibilidad de una agresión”, y agregó, “Siria, desde hace dos años y medio, está presenciando difíciles circunstancias, nos preparamos para todas las posibilidades, pero eso no quiere decir que simos preparados las cosas se van a mejorar, acontrario, las cosas van a empeorar si sucede cualquier ataque tonto o guerra estúpida, ya que nadie podrá predecir las consecuencias de este ataque”…
El presidente de la república explicó que las consecuencias de una guerra pueden reflejarse en diferentes formas, directa o indirectamente… la gente o los gobiernos puedan recurrir a las represalias, además, cuando toda la región se vuelve inestable, y se propaga el terrorismo en la misma, Occidente se verá afectado directamente”, dijo, agregando que “cualquier ataque sería un apoyo directo a las organizaciones afiliadas a al-Qaeda como el Frente al-Nousra y el Estado Islámico en Irak y Siria”.
En respuesta a una pregunta sobre el uso de armas químicas, el presidente al-Assad dijo que “Damasco está en contra de cualquier tipo de armas de destrucción masiva, sean estas química o nuclear, revelando que soldados sirios fueron blanco de un ataque químico e ingresados en el hospital por sufrir los efectos de las sustancias químicas”.
Sobre el supuesto uso de armas químicas en Ghouta del Este, el presidente dijo: “en esta zona no tenemos tropas o policías, ni ninguna otra presencia, y no podemos hablar de lo que sucedió allí sin tener pruebas concretas”, remarcando que “en Siria, no somos como la Administración estadounidense que cree en imágenes publicadas por las redes sociales”.
En el mismo marco, reafirmó que “lo dicho por Kerry nos recuerda la gran mentira lanzada por el Secretario de Estado, Colin Powell ante todo el mundo y a través de todas las pantallas de televisión sobre las armas de destrucción masiva en Irak antes de la guerra”.
Al Assad puntualizó que “Siria va a hacer todo para evitar otra guerra loca en la región”, reafirmando que “el Ejército sirio está avanzando y la situación ahora es mucho mejor de lo que era en el pasado”.
Sobre la presencia de combatientes de Hezbolá en Siria, el presidente reveló que “los combatientes de Hezbolá se encuentran en la frontera con el Líbano, donde fueron atacados por los terroristas y ellos responden, y nosotros cooperamos con ellos, y esto es bueno”.
Asimismo, dijo que todos los amigos de Siria buscan una solución pacífica, haciendo referencia al plan político del gobierno sirio para poner fin a la crisis
De vuelta al tema de un posible ataque contra Siria, el presidente manifestó que “las encuestas de opinión muestran que la mayoría del pueblo estadounidense no quiere la guerra, no sólo en Siria sino en cualquier lugar… además, las guerras, empezando con la guerra de Vietnam, no han traído nada bueno para Estados Unidos, ni beneficios políticos, ni económicos, ni una buena reputación, incluso las guerra han afectado la credibilidad de los Estados Unidos disminuyéndola hasta los niveles más bajos de la historia”.
Respondiendo a otra pregunta sobre si Siria atacaría bases estadounidenses en Medio Oriente en caso de un ataque aéreo en su contra, el presidente dijo: “hay que esperar de todo, no necesariamente a través de los gobiernos sino por diferentes partes, diferentes facciones y diferentes ideologías”.
Sobre el por qué la guerra duró ya más de dos años y medio, el presidente dijo que “eso se debe a la injerencia externa y a la existencia de una agenda extranjera apoyada por Estados Unidos, Occidente y los países del Petrodólar, básicamente Arabia Saudita, Qatar y Turquía”.
En este sentido, el presidente precisó que no se puede resistir dos años y medio sin tener apoyo popular, resaltando que esa batalla no le pertenece a él, sino que es de toda Siria y del pueblo sirio.
“La guerra terminará una vez se detengan los países occidentales de apoyar a los terroristas y presionar sobre los países marionetas como Arabia Saudita y Turquía, etc.”, dijo.
El presidente concluyó que “en las zonas controladas por los terroristas, se le impide a la gente ir a la escuela, y a los jóvenes que se afeiten, también imponen a las mujeres cubrirse de la parte superior de la cabeza hasta la planta de los pies… en resumen, allí los terroristas imponen el estilo de vida de los talibanes en Afganistán… y estamos preocupados porque si no conseguimos deshacernos de esos terroristas extremistas y wahabíes, se verán afectadas las próximas generaciones.
(TG24Siria) – In data 10/09/2013, il Presidente della Repubblica Araba Siriana ha rilasciato un’intervista al canale tv americano CBS. Di seguito riportiamo i punti salienti dell’intervista.
– Qualsiasi aggressione alla Siria costituirà un appoggio diretto alle organizzazioni terroriste affiliate a al-Qaeda, come “Jabhat an-Nusra” e “Lo Stato Islamico in Iraq e in Siria”. Faremo tutto il possibile per impedire l’ennesima folle guerra nella Regione.
– La minaccia terroristica, con tutto ciò che essa comporta, non riguarda soltanto la Siria. Ribadisco che la Siria è contro l’utilizzo di qualsiasi arma di distruzione di massa, di tipo chimico o nucleare. Come Stato e come Governo, nel 2001, abbiamo proposto alle Nazioni Unite la creazione di un’area libera da armi di distruzione di massa nel Medio Oriente, in base alle nostre convinzioni etiche e politiche, ma gli Stati Uniti all’epoca hanno votato contro la nostra proposta.
– La Siria ha concepito, tempo fa, un piano per porre fine alla guerra ed è sua ferma intenzione seguirlo. La prima fase del piano consiste nel porre fine al contrabbando dei terroristi provenienti dall’estero e al loro supporto logistico e finanziario e a qualsiasi tipo di supporto destinato ai terroristi. La seconda fase consiste nell’avvio di un Dialogo Nazionale a cui prenderanno parte tutte le fazioni siriane, che discuteranno del futuro della Siria. La terza fase coinciderà con la formazione di un Governo temporaneo o transitorio, seguito da elezioni parlamentari e presidenziali.
– Finché gli Stati Uniti non rispetteranno il Diritto Internazionale e calpesteranno la Carta delle Nazioni Unite, dobbiamo preoccuparci che qualsiasi amministrazione – non solo la presente – possa fare qualsiasi cosa. E in base alle menzogne che abbiamo sentito nelle ultime due settimane, da parte di alti funzionari del governo degli Stati Uniti, dobbiamo aspettarci il peggio.
– Abbiamo vissuto circostanze difficili negli ultimi due anni e mezzo, e ci stiamo preparando a ogni possibilità. Ciò non significa che se siamo preparati le cose andranno meglio, perché le cose peggioreranno, con un qualsiasi scellerato attacco o una guerra stupida. Le cose peggioreranno a causa delle ripercussioni, giacché nessuno può prevedere quali saranno le conseguenze del primo attacco. Stiamo parlando di una Regione molto vasta, che non comprende soltanto la Siria ma è legata indissolubilmente ad altri Paesi, perciò, se ci sarà un attacco, ci saranno ripercussioni inaspettate da qualsiasi parte e di qualsiasi forma, diretta o indiretta. Ripercussioni dirette si verificheranno mediante vendette da parte di persone e/o governi; quelle indirette invece saranno l’instabilità e la diffusione del terrorismo in tutta la Regione, che avranno effetti devastanti e diretti in Occidente.
– Più che parlare dell’attacco americano, a noi premono le conseguenze di un simile scellerato attacco, perché potrebbero essere più fatali dello stesso attacco. Qualsiasi attacco americano non distruggerà più di quanto abbiano già distrutto i terroristi in Siria, ma le ripercussioni potrebbero essere devastanti molto, molto più di un probabile attacco, perché qualsiasi attacco rappresenterà il sostegno diretto all’organizzazione terroristica Al Qaeda.
– Per quanto riguarda il presunto attacco chimico del 21 agosto, va detto che i nostri soldati sono stati attaccati con gas chimici in un’altra zona, e molto ben prima di quella data. Personalmente, sono andato in ospedale e ho verificato le loro condizioni di salute, ho verificato che erano stati attaccati da armi chimiche. Invece, riguardo alla zona in cui hanno detto che il governo avrebbe utilizzato armi chimiche, abbiamo visionato solo il video e abbiamo guardato solo le immagini e sentito le accuse. Noi non siamo presenti in quella zona, le nostre forze, la nostra polizia, le nostre istituzioni non esistono lì . Come si può parlare di quello che è successo, se non si dispone di prove? Noi non siamo come l’amministrazione americana, non siamo l’amministrazione dei social media…. Noi siamo un governo che ha a che fare con la realtà. E quando avremo le prove, lo annunceremo pubblicamente.
– La menzogna di Kerry, circa una presunta intercettazione tra funzionari siriani in merito all’uso di armi chimiche, mi fa venire in mente la grande menzogna che Colin Powell disse a tutto il mondo sulla presenza delle armi di distruzione di massa in Iraq… In quell’occasione affermò pubblicamente: “Questa è la nostra prova”! In realtà fornì prove false. Nel nostro caso, Kerry non ha nemmeno presentato alcuna prova. Ha detto solo “Abbiamo le prove “, e non ha presentato nulla . Nulla finora, non un solo straccio di prova.
– La questione è chi ha osato lanciare le armi chimiche sui nostri soldati, nello stesso giorno in cui erano presenti gli ispettori ONU. Questa è la questione. Tecnicamente, non i soldati . I soldati non lanciano missili su se stessi. Così, a rigor di logica, che siano stati i ribelli, o i terroristi, o altri, non sappiamo. Non abbiamo ancora nessun indizio. Dobbiamo essere lì per raccogliere le prove e allora possiamo rispondere.
– Obama ha tracciato la linea rossa, e Obama può tracciare linee rosse per se stesso e il suo paese, non per gli altri paesi. Noi abbiamo le nostre linee rosse, come la nostra sovranità e la nostra indipendenza, mentre se si vuole parlare di linee rosse mondiali, gli Stati Uniti hanno usato l’uranio impoverito in Iraq, Israele ha usato il fosforo bianco a Gaza, e nessuno ha detto niente. Che dire delle linee rosse ? Noi non vediamo le linee rosse. Si tratta di linee rosse politiche. Noi abbiamo le nostre linee rosse: la nostra sovranità e la nostra indipendenza.
– Tutti gli amici della Siria auspicano che si arrivi a una soluzione pacifica, e noi crediamo fermamente in questo.
– Per quanto riguarda la decisione dell’amministrazione americana di attaccare la Siria, ritengo che il ruolo decisivo spetti al popolo americano. I sondaggi mostrano che la maggioranza ora non vuole una guerra, in nessun luogo del mondo, e non solo contro la Siria. Il Congresso voterà tra pochi giorni, e credo che il Congresso, che rappresenta il popolo, sia eletto dal popolo, e che lavori per il suo interesse. La prima domanda che dovrebbero porsi è: Quali vantaggi abbiamo tratto dalle guerre, a partire dal Vietnam ad oggi? Niente. Nessun vantaggio politico, nessun vantaggio economico, nessuna buona reputazione. La credibilità degli Stati Uniti ha raggiunto il minimo storico e quindi questa guerra è contro l’interesse dell’amministrazione americana. Perché ? In primo luogo questa guerra sostiene al-Qaeda e le stesse persone che hanno ucciso gli americani nel 11 settembre. La seconda cosa che vogliamo dire Congresso è che dovrebbero chiedere- e noi ci aspettiamo che lo chiedano- alla loro amministrazione le prove che essa possiede circa la storia delle armi chimiche e le accuse che ci hanno mosso. Non voglio dire niente al Presidente o a qualsiasi altro funzionario, perché siamo delusi dal loro comportamento, perché ci aspettavamo che questa amministrazione fosse diversa da quella di Bush. Ma stanno adottando la stessa dottrina, ricorrendo a marchingegni diversi. Tutto qui. Quindi, se vogliamo aspettarci qualcosa da questa amministrazione, non è di essere debole, ma di essere forte e di riconoscere senza alcun timore di non avere prove, e di rispettare il Diritto Internazionale, ricorrendo al Consiglio di Sicurezza e alle Nazioni Unite.
– La Siria è in uno stato di guerra fin da quando la sua terra è stata occupata per più di quattro decenni, e la natura della frontiera in Siria implica che la maggior parte delle basi militari si trova in zone abitate. È difficile trovare una base militare in aree lontane dalle città, a meno che non si tratti di un aeroporto o di qualcosa di simile, ma la maggior parte delle basi militari o centri si trova all’interno di zone abitate.
– La guerra in Siria è iniziata parzialmente come guerra settaria in alcune aree, ma ora non lo è più, perché quando si parla di guerra settaria o guerra di religione, si dovrebbe avere una linea molto chiara tra le sette e le religioni in Siria in base alla geografia e alla demografia in Siria , e questo non è assolutamente ciò che accade ora. Quindi , non è una guerra di religione, ma Al Qaeda strumentalizza sempre le religioni , l’Islam – in realtà , come pretesto e come copertura per la sua guerra, per il terrorismo, per uccidere e decapitare.
– Se io, come Presidente, non godessi dell’appoggio del mio popolo, allora rassegnerei le dimissioni. Ma poiché dispongo dell’appoggio popolare, allora devo rimanere con il mio popolo e a fianco del mio popolo, in tutti i casi. Ecco la mia missione , devo aiutare la gente, devo servire il popolo.
Sono passati due anni e mezzo, ok ? Due anni e mezzo e la Siria è ancora in piedi. Contro gli Stati Uniti, l’Occidente, l’Arabia Saudita e i paesi più ricchi, tra cui la Turchia e, se la maggioranza del popolo siriano fosse davvero contro di me, come sarei in grado di resistere sino ad oggi? Non sono un uomo eccezionale, non sono superman, non è questo il caso.
– Se l’amministrazione americana vuole sostenere al-Qaeda, che lo faccia. Questo è quello che abbiamo da dirgli: “Continuate a sostenere al-Qaeda, ma non parlate di ribelli ed esercito siriano libero. La maggior parte dei combattenti ora sono con al-Qaeda. Se volete sostenerli, allora sostenete al-Qaeda, e diffondete il caos nella regione, e se questa regione non è stabile, il mondo intero non può essere stabile”.
– I funzionari americani devono imparare a trattare con la realtà. Perché gli Stati Uniti falliscono nella maggior parte delle loro guerre? Perché hanno sempre basato le loro guerre su informazioni sbagliate. Quindi, che ci credano o no, questa è la realtà. Devo essere molto chiaro e onesto. Non gli voglio chiedere di crederci o se non vogliono crederci. Questa è la realtà, io sto parlando della realtà del nostro paese. Noi viviamo qui, sappiamo che cosa sta accadendo, e loro devono ascoltare la gente qui. Essi non possono ascoltare solo i loro mass-media o i loro centri di ricerca. Loro non vivono qui, nessuno vive qui, eccetto noi. Quindi, questa è la realtà. Se vogliono crederci, questo è un bene, che li aiuterà a capire la Regione e ad avere più successo nelle loro politiche.
– Dimettermi? Perché dovrei? Cosa succederebbe dopo? Quando si è nel bel mezzo di una tempesta , abbandonare il proprio Paese solo perché bisogna dimettersi senza alcun motivo ragionevole, significa rinunciare al proprio Paese, e questo è tradimento.
– Non si tratta di me, ripeto: questa lotta non è la mia lotta, non è la lotta del governo, è la lotta del Paese e del popolo siriano .
– Una volta che i paesi occidentali interromperanno il loro appoggio ai terroristi e le loro pressioni sui loro paesi di marionette e clienti come l’Arabia Saudita, la Turchia e altri, non avrete alcun problema in Siria. Tutto sarà risolto facilmente, perché quei combattenti , la parte siriana di cui tanto si parla, perderanno i loro incubatori naturali nella società siriana e non avranno più incubatori ; è per questo che hanno incubatori all’estero. Hanno bisogno di soldi dall’estero, hanno bisogno di sostegno morale e di sostegno politico dall’estero. Non avranno alcuna base, né alcun incubatore. Così , quando si arresterà il contrabbando, non avremo problemi .
– Il supporto esterno non può mai sostituire il supporto interno, nel modo più assoluto, mai e poi mai. Gli esempi a cui dobbiamo guardare molto bene sono l’Egitto e la Tunisia. Questi Paesi hanno tutto il sostegno dall’Occidente e dal Golfo e dalla maggior parte dei paesi del mondo, ma non godono di supporto interno e non avrebbero mai potuto continuare oltre – quante settimane ? – Tre settimane. Quindi, l’unico motivo e la riprova per cui siamo qui da due anni e mezzo è perché abbiamo il sostegno interno, il sostegno popolare.
– Non ho mai sentito parlare di guerre “morbide”. Avete sentito parlare di guerre morbide ? Non c’è nessuna guerra morbida. La guerra è guerra. Ogni guerra è spietata . Quando si combatte contro i terroristi, li si combatti come in ogni altra guerra.
– La “rivoluzione” dovrebbe essere siriana, non può essere una rivoluzione importata dall’estero. Le persone che hanno contrastato il Governo all’inizio, oggi sostengono il governo contro i ribelli, è questa la verità. Ecco perché ciò che è successo all’inizio è completamente diverso da ciò che sta accadendo ora. C’è una dinamica molto elevata, le cose stanno cambiando su base giornaliera. Le persone che volevano la rivoluzione, oggi collaborano con il Governo.
– La speranza, per un americano, è diversa dalla speranza per un siriano. Per quanto riguarda me, deve essere la speranza dei siriani, e nessun altra, non quella degli americani , né dei francesi, né di chiunque altro al mondo. Sono il presidente e il mio dovere è aiutare il popolo siriano.
– L’opposizione è cosa ben diversa dal terrorismo. L’opposizione è un movimento politico. Fare opposizione non implica prendere le armi e uccidere persone e distruggere tutto. Come si potrebbero definire allora le persone a Los Angeles negli anni Novanta, erano ribelli o opposizione? Come descrissero gli inglesi i ribelli a Londra, meno di due anni fa? Li chiamarono oppositori o ribelli? Perché noi dovremmo li dovremmo chiamare oppositori? Sono ribelli. Anzi, non sono nemmeno ribelli, sono terroristi che tagliano le teste. C’è una opposizione così definita al mondo, che si vanta di tagliare teste e mangiare i cuori delle vittime? E’ questa, l’opposizione? Come si chiamano le persone che hanno attaccato le due torri del 11 settembre ? Opposizione ? Anche se non sono americani, lo so questo , ma penso che uno di loro abbia nazionalità americana. E’ un oppositore o un terrorista? Perché si dovrebbe usare un termine negli Stati Uniti e in Inghilterra e forse in altri paesi e usare un altro termine in Siria ? Si tratta di un doppio standard che non accettiamo.
– In base a quanto abbiamo visto nelle zone controllate dai terroristi, ai bambini è vietato andare a scuola, agli uomini è vietato radersi la barba, e le donne devono essere coperte dalla testa ai piedi; in sintesi vivono la stessa vita che i Talebani imponevano in Afghanistan, è esattamente la stessa vita. Con il tempo, dobbiamo preoccuparci, perché uno Stato laico deve riflettere una società laica, e se non ci sbarazzeremo di questi terroristi estremisti e della loro ideologia wahhabita… allora ciò influenzerà almeno le nuove, future generazioni. E io non posso dire che questo non accadrà. Noi siamo ancora laici in Siria, ma con il passare del tempo questa laicità scomparirà.
Published & translated (Fra/Esp) by SANA – 10/09/2013
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