President Assad's AFP Interview

 H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad gave, according to SANA, the following interview to AFP News Agency, February 12, 2016.

Journalist: Mr. President, we would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions in these crucial moments in the history of Syria and the region.

Question 1: How do you feel when you see tens of thousands of your citizens starving, running away from hunger, from their areas, which are being shelled by your Russian allies, and trying to cross the borders to Turkey? And how do you feel when you see the pictures of them drowning in their attempt to cross the seas?

President Assad: If we talk about emotions, I belong to this people; and it is self-evident that I have the same feelings my people have. Any scene of suffering is painful to all of us as Syrians. But as an official, the question for me is less about emotions than about what I, as an official, should do, being responsible before my people.

However, when the cause of this suffering is the terrorists, not the Russian shelling, as claimed by Western media, and when one cause for migration is the almost five-year-old embargo against the Syrian people, naturally my, and every Syrian official’s first task is to fight terrorism essentially using Syrian capabilities, but also using our friends’ support in the fight against terrorism. That’s why I say the problem of Syrian refugees abroad, as well as the problem of hunger inside Syria, as you referred to it, is a problem caused by terrorism, Western policies, and the embargo imposed on the Syrian people.

Western policy towards counter-terrorism file is not objective, underscored President Assad

H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad affirmed that the majority of international reports about Syria are politicized, incredible and financed by the Qataris and Saudis.

President Al-Assad added in an interview given to DUTCH NPO2 TV that the western policy towards counter-terrorism file is not objective and not stable.

Following is the full text according to SANA:

Question 1: Mr. President, after four years of civil war in your country, what’s left of Syria?

President Assad: What’s left is about the people. If you talk about the infrastructure, many have been destroyed during the last four years and few months, but it’s about the people, what’s left of the people, that is the question, and it’s about how much they withstand this dark ideology that the terrorists brought with them from different countries. I think the majority of the people now support their government, regardless of their political spectrum, and they still support the unity of Syria and the integration of the society as one society with multi-color aspects.

Question 2: Now, we hear shelling every day, even here in Damascus, even close by to where we are now. You said there is unity, the people believe in their government. Are you still so confident about that?

President Assad: I’m more confident than before, to be frank, because if you go to the areas under the control of the government, you can see all the different colors of the Syrian society with no exception. If you go to the areas where the terrorists control, you can see either part of this Syrian spectrum, social spectrum, or you can see no inhabitants, only fighters. So the contrast is very clear.

Russia’s policy based on values and interests, underlined President Assad

 H. E.  President Bashar Al-Assad gave an interview to the Spanish EFE news agency in which he stressed that the Russians’ values and interests in their policy towards Syria are not in contradiction, noting that as long as the US is not serious in fighting the terrorists, the West won’t be serious.

The following is the full text of the interview, as published by the official News Agency (SANA):

Question 1: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your hospitality and for giving the Spanish News Agency EFE the opportunity to understand what is the situation in your country. Okay, on November 14th, the world powers, including Russia and Iran, agreed in Vienna on a timetable for a political solution for the Syria crisis. According to this timetable, the negotiations between your government and the moderate opposition should start on January 1st. Are you ready to start those negotiations?

President Assad: You are most welcome in Syria. Since the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, we adopted the dialogue approach with every party that is involved in the Syrian conflict, and we dealt positively, responded positively, to every initiative that has been launched by different states around the world regardless of the real intention and the genuineness of the people or the officials who started those initiatives. So, we were ready, and we are ready today to start the negotiations with the opposition. But it depends on the definition of opposition. Opposition, for everyone in this world, doesn’t mean militant. There’s a big difference between militants, terrorists, and opposition. Opposition is a political term, not a military term. So, talking about the concept is different from the practice, because so far, we’ve been seeing that some countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United States, and some Western countries wanted the terrorist groups to join these negotiations. They want the Syrian government to negotiate with the terrorists, something I don’t think anyone would accept in any country.

Engaging in Dialogue with Everyone, and Fighting Terrorism Everywhere in Syria, Underscored President Assad

H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad  gave an interview to The Sunday Times in which he said Britain and France have neither the will nor the vision on how to defeat terrorism and their airstrikes against ISIS will yield no results, but will rather be illegal and harmful in that they will help in spreading terrorism like a cancer.

The following is the full text of the interview as published by SANA:

 Question 1:  Thank you for seeing us Mr. President.  As you know, the British government today will be voting on whether it will join the coalition airstrikes against ISIS. Is Britain right to join airstrikes against ISIS in Syria? And do you welcome its involvement; and will it make things worse or not make a change?

President Assad: If I want to let’s say, evaluate a book, I cannot take or single out a phrase from that book to evaluate the whole book.  I have to look at the headlines, then the titles of the chapters and then we can discuss the rest of the book.  So, what we are talking about is only an isolated phrase.  If we want to go back to the headline, it is “the will to fight terrorism.”  We know from the very beginning that Britain and France were the spearheads in supporting the terrorists in Syria, from the very beginning of the conflict.  We know that they don’t have that will, even if we want to go back to the chapter on military participation with the coalition, it has to be comprehensive, it has to be from the air, from the ground, to have cooperation with the troops on the ground, the national troops for the interference or participation to be legal.  It is legal only when the participation is in cooperation with the legitimate government in Syria.  So, I would say they don’t have the will and they don’t have the vision on how to defeat terrorism.

And if you want to evaluate, let’s evaluate from the facts.  Let’s go back to the reality on the ground.  Since that coalition started its operation a year or so, what was the result? ISIS and al-Nusra and other like-minded organizations or groups, were expanding, expanding freely.  What was the situation after the Russians participated in fighting terrorism directly?  ISIS and al-Nusra started shrinking.  So I would say, first they will not give any results.  Second, it will be harmful and illegal, and it will support terrorism as what happened after the coalition started its operation a year or so, because this is like a cancer.  You cannot cut the cancer.  You have to extract it.  This kind of operation is like cutting the cancer that will make it spread in the body faster.

Question 2:  Are you saying, just to clarify two things, are you saying that the British, if the British join the intervention, that includes also the other coalition, with that intervention you see that is illegitimate from an international-law perspective?

President Assad: Definitely, definitely, we are a sovereign country.  Look at the Russians, when they wanted to make this alliance against terrorism, the first thing they did was they started discussions with the Syrian government before anyone else.  Then they started discussing the same issue with other governments.  Then they came.  So, this is the legal way to combat any terrorist around the world.

President Al-Assad to Czech TV: You should do everything to protect your country

H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad said that terrorists are coming from more than 100 countries around the world to Syria; they want to make Syria a hub for terrorism.

In an interview with the Czech TV, President Al-Assad asserted that you cannot fight terrorism while you are supporting the terrorists directly with armaments and having alliance with most zealous supporters of terrorism in the world; which is the Saudi Kingdom

The President made it clear that you should do everything to protect your country. You cannot protect your country if you do not protect society and the principles and the values in that society, asserting that a country is not a land and borders, it is people and a way of thinking.

Following is the full text of the interview, according to SANA:

Question 1: Thank you. Let me start by a personal question. You are a doctor. In 2011 you said, and I quote you, that you have chosen eye surgery because it is almost never an emergency and there is very little blood. It was March 2011, the very time when the Syrian war broke out, the bloodiest conflict in the world, one big emergency. How do you take that?

President Assad: If you want to make a relation between this job or any surgery job and what is going on in Syria, it depends on the intention. You always have blood in surgery but you have blood to save the life of the patient not to kill him. While the blood that we have in Syria is to kill the Syrians by terrorists; and our job as the government is to save their lives through destroying the terrorists. This is the only link and I hope I understand you question well.

Reporter: Yes, yes I mean …

President Assad: So our job is to save life. If you have blood, it is to defend your country. You use your army to defend your country.