President Al-Assad: What World Would Gain from Supporting Terrorism in Syria

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad underscored that what is important for Syria today is to strike and combat terrorism; hence al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists pay no heed neither to reforms, politics nor to laws.

In an interview with the French Le Figaro, published today, President Al-Assad pointed out that the solution for the crisis in Syria is through the ending of the smuggling of terrorists from abroad, and ending financial and arms support to them.

"Whoever contributes  financially or militarily to bolstering terrorists is an enemy of the Syrian people. Whoever is against the interests of Syria and its people is an enemy."  Outlined H.E. President Al-Assad in reply to a question.

"Those who make accusations must show evidence. We challenge the United States and France to do this. Obama and Hollande have been incapable of doing this, including for their own people,'' said H.E. President Al-Assad in reply to a question regarding the fabricated allegations related to chemical weapons use, asserting that  Syria is to pursue defending its sovereignty knowing that when the people defend themselves they will achieve victory.

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President Al-Assad: Terrorism is like a scorpion; it can unexpectedly sting you at any time


DAMASCUS, (ST) – His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad gave an interview on August 26th, 2013, to the Russian Izvestia Newspaper. The following is an official translation for the interview:

Q1 Interviewer: Mr. President, the most pressing question today is the current situation in Syria. What parts of the country remain under the 'rebels’ control?

President Al-Assad: From our perspective, it’s not a matter of labeling areas as controlled by terrorists or by the government; we are not dealing with a conventional occupation to allow us to contextualize it in this manner. We are fighting terrorists infiltrating particular regions, towns or peripheral city areas. They wreak havoc, vandalize, destroy infrastructure and kill innocent civilians simply because they denounce them. The army mobilizes into these areas with the security forces and law enforcement agencies to eradicate the terrorists, those who survive relocate to other areas. Therefore, the essence of our action is striking terrorism.

Our challenge, which has protracted the situation, is the influx of large amounts of terrorists from other countries - estimated in the tens of thousands at the very least. As long as they continue to receive financial and military aid, we will continue to strike them. I can confirm that there has not been any instance where the Syrian Army has planned to enter a particular location and has not succeeded in eliminating the terrorists within it.

The majority of those we are fighting are Takfiris, who adopt the al-Qaeda doctrine, in addition to a small number of outlaws, so as I said this not about who controls more areas of land. Wherever terrorism strikes, we shall strike back.

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President Al-Assad: war launched against Syria started in its first phase as a media war

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad underscored that the war launched against Syria has started in its first phase as a media war so as to prepare the ground for subsequent battles against Syria.

Interviewed by al-Baath Newspaper, the mouthpiece of al- Baa'th Arab Socialist Party (BASP), President Al-Assad added that the role of mass media means is fundamental  in defending Syria whether at the State level, homeland, and of course in defending the BASP.

H.E. President Al-Assad pointed out that al-Baa'th Newspaper has a basic role in defending the BASP doctrines and convictions, as the voice of the Baa'thist to convey his sufferings and voice and as a channel of communication between the leadership and BASP members.

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DAMASCUS, (ST)_ H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad reiterated that terrorism is like cancer and should be removed as not to spread more quickly  once surgeon's scalpel hits it without removing it.

Interviewed by the Syrian al-Thawra Newspaper, President Al-Assad pointed out that Syria is being transformed- in light of the ongoing war on Syria- into a land for terrorism, which proliferates in a fertile land of confusion.

President Al-Assad added that foreign countries assist such terrorism in Syria as to erode the factors of power and immunity  be they related to Syria's  stances, resistance, society, infrastructure, economy or services.

"Some Western countries support terrorism in Syria believing that the Takfiri terrorist groups  which have caused a security headache and worry would come to Syria and get killed, so that they would rid themselves of them- the terrorists-," said H.E. President Al-Assad.

President Al-Assad recalled that Syria since the year 1985 has been calling for a clear-cut definition for  terrorism.

In reply to a question, President Al-Assad declared that the ongoing against Syria is but to hit the axis of resistance in the region as to transform resistance into enemy as well as into a sectarian project in the interest of Israel.

President Al-Assad added that the ongoing in Syria is also a "crisis of morals", which once is missing, humanity is missing too.

H.E. President Al-Assad lashed out at Moslem Brotherhood, which drew a sharp wedge between Arabism and Islam, and tried to create two homelands: one for Islamists and another for nationalists.

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 Damascus, (ST)_President Bashar Al-Assad gave the following interview to the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper:

Interviewer: Mr President, how do you view the situation in your country? The Syrian Army has lost control over large parts of Syria, in other words those areas are outside the control of central government. What’s your take on the situation?

President Al-Assad: Your question requires us to put things into their proper context: this is not a conventional war with two armies fighting to control or liberate particular areas or parts of land. What we are in fact dealing with is a form of guerrilla warfare.

As for the Syrian Army, there has not been any instance where our Armed Forces have planned to enter a particular location and have not succeeded. Having said this, the Army is not present - and should not be present - in every corner of Syria. What is more significant than controlling areas of land, is striking terrorists. We are confident that we can successfully fight terrorism in Syria, but the bigger issue is the ensuing damage and its cost. The crisis has already had a heavy toll but our biggest challenges will come once the crisis is over.

Interviewer: In your recent interview with Al-Manar it appeared as though you were preparing the Syrian public for a protracted struggle. Was that your intention?

President Al-Assad: No, this was not specific to Al-Manar. From the early days of the crisis, whenever I was asked, I have stated that this crisis is likely to be prolonged due to foreign interference. Any internal crisis can go in one of two ways: either it is resolved or it escalates into a civil war. Neither has been the case for Syria because of the foreign component, which seeks to extend the duration of the crisis both politically and militarily; I think it's fair to say that my predictions were right.

Interviewer: Mr President, how do you expect to overcome the large-scale destruction that has been inflicted in Syria?

President Al-Assad: In the same way you, in Germany, overcame the devastation after World War II, and in the same way many other nations have progressed and been rebuilt after their wars. I am confident Syria will follow the same path. As long as we have resilient people, we can rebuild the country. We have done this before and we can do it again, learning from all we have been through.

In terms of funding, we have been a self-sufficient country for a very long time. Of course we will need to be more productive than before as a result of the situation. Friendly countries have helped us in the past and continue to offer their support, maybe in the form of loans in the future. It may take a long time, but with our determination, our strength and our solidarity, we can rebuild the country.

However, the more arduous challenge lies in rebuilding, socially and psychologically, those who have been affected by the crisis. It will not be easy to eliminate the social effects of the crisis, especially extremist ideologies. Real reconstruction is about developing minds, ideologies and values. Infrastructure is valuable, but not as valuable as human beings; reconstruction is about perpetuating both.

Interviewer: Mr President, during the crisis some areas of the country have become either more self-reliant or more reliant on external support. Do you think this could potentially lead to the re-drawing of borders?

President Al-Assad: Do you mean within Syria or the region in general?

Interviewer: The region - one hundred years after the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

President Al-Assad: One hundred years after Sykes-Picot, when we talk about re-drawing the borders in our region, we can use an analogy from architecture. Syria is like the keystone in the old architectural arches; by removing or tampering with the keystone, the arch will collapse. If we apply this to the region, to the world, – any tampering with the borders of this region will result in re-drawing the maps of distant regions because this will have a domino effect which nobody can control. One of the superpowers may be able to initiate the process, but nobody – including that superpower, will be able to stop it; particularly since there are new social borders in the Middle East today that didn't exist during Sykes-Picot. These new sectarian, ethnic and political borders make the situation much more complicated. Nobody can know what the Middle East will look like should there be an attempt to re-draw the map of the region. However, most likely that map will be one of multiple wars, which would transcend the Middle East spanning the Atlantic to the Pacific, which nobody can stop.

Interviewer: Mr President, in your opinion what will the region look like in the future?

President Al-Assad: If we rule out the destructive scenario of division in your last question, I can envisage a completely different and more positive future, but it will depend on how we act as nations and societies. This scenario involves a number of challenges, first of which is restoring security and stability; our second challenge is the rebuilding process. However, our biggest and most important challenge lies in facing extremism.

It has become extremely clear that there has been a shift in the societies of our region away from moderation, especially religious moderation. The question is: can we restore these societies to their natural order? Can our diverse societies still coexist together as one natural whole? On this point allow me to clarify certain terms. The words tolerance and coexistence are often used to define our societies. However, the more precise and appropriate definition, of how our societies used to be - and how they should be, is harmonious. Contrary to perception, the issue is neither about tolerance - since there will come a day when you are not tolerant, nor is the issue about coexistence - since you co-exist with your adversaries, but rather it is about harmony. What used to characterize us in the region was our harmony. You cannot say that your hand will coexist with or tolerate your foot because one compliments the other and both are a part of a harmonious whole.

Another challenge is political reform and the question of which political system would keep our society coherent: be it presidential, semi-presidential or parliamentary, as well as deciding the most appropriate legislation to govern political parties. In Germany, for example, you have the Christian Democratic Party. In Syria we could not have religious parties, neither Christian nor Muslim, because for us religion is for preaching and not for political practice. There are many other details, but the essence is in accepting others. If we cannot accept each other we cannot be democratic, even with the best constitution or the best legislations.

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