President Bashar al-Assad’s interview with Le Figaro


 President al-Assad: I do not wish to speak on their behalf, their statements have been very clear. We are all aware that this is a regional issue and as such it is impossible to separate the interests of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and other countries that are supporting us.

 Today, stability in the region depends on the situation in Syria; Russia fully fathoms this. Russia is neither defending the President nor Syria, but rather it is defending stability in this region knowing all too well that otherwise it will also be affected. To assess the situation through the narrow lens of a Syrian-Iranian alliance is a naïve and over simplistic view; we are dealing with a situation of far greater significance.

Le Figaro: Have the Russians reassured you that they will reach out to the Americans to try to attenuate the strike?

 President al-Assad: I don’t think anyone can trust the Americans; I don’t think there is a country in the world that can guarantee that the Americans will or will not take any form of action towards another country, so it is pointless to look for such reassurances. The Americans adopt one position in the morning, only to endorse the complete opposite in the evening. As long as the US does not comply with or listen to the UN, we should not be reassured.

 Le Figaro: How can we stop the war, the crisis in Syria has been on going for more than two-and-half years? You have suggested a National Unity government, the international community has suggested Geneva II, how can we stop the blood bath in Syria?

Solution lies in stopping the influx of terrorists into Syria, stopping financial and military support to them

 President al-Assad: Discussing a solution at the beginning of the crisis is very different to discussing it today. From the beginning I have emphasised that a resolution can only be achieved through dialogue, which would lead to solutions that can be implemented through political measures.

The situation today is different; today we are fighting terrorists, 80-90% of them affiliated to Al-Qaeda. These terrorists are not interested in reform, or politics, or legislations. The only way to deal with the terrorists is to strike them; only then can we talk about political steps. So in response to your question, the solution today lies in stopping the influx of terrorists into Syria and stopping the financial, military or any other support they receive.

Le Figaro: Who is supporting them?

President al-Assad: Primarily Saudi Arabia, followed by Turkey and Jordan by streaming the militants into Syria, as well as France, America and Britain.
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