-“After the fall of Aleppo, can we say that you have won the war?”
– “No,” responds President Bashar al-Assad, “we cannot talk about winning the war unless we defeat the terrorists all over Syria. But Aleppo was an important step to eliminate terrorism from our country. I think it is going to be a long way for a simple reason, they still have the support from many Western countries, including France, including the UK, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”
– “But the situation is far better off for you now, militarily speaking?”
-“Of course. It means that every place which is liberated from the terrorists, is better, but it is not enough for us.”
.”For France the main terrorist threat is Daesh/ISIS. Why is Daesh not a specific threat for you?”
-“First of all, this is not only about us. It is about the international law. Whoever carries a machine gun in my country or in your country and start killing people and destroying properties, is a terrorist. This is an international concept. And whoever wants to give up his armoment, is not a terrorist anymore. When you say that the French or the Europeans worry about Daesh, I think this is a misunderstanding of the situation. Daesh is the product, it is not the problem. The problem is the ideology of Daesh, which is the same for Al Nusra and many other likeminded organizations, in Syria, maybe in Libya and many other countries. They don’t care about whether it is ISIS or Al Nusra, they implement what their ideology is telling them to do, namely terrorist acts.”
-“So, there is no difference between Daesh and the other groups?”
-“Definitely. In Syria, the grass roots are the same. The same people who were in ISIS were before in Al Nusra. Now they are moving from organization to organization. This is the ideology. It is the Wahhabi-ideology. This is the source of this terrorism.”
-“Sir, you present yourself as the main shield against terrorism. There’s a lot of people, especially in the West, who think that ISIS on the one hand and your regime on the other are the two faces of the same evil, trying to crush any form of democratic and free expression in this country. What would you answer to them?”
-“First of all, we are not a regime, we are a state with institutions. Second, the demonization of the mainstream Western media and the Western political strata against Syria and the Syrian government and army, is because they supported these moderates from the very beginning. First they said that they are peaceful demonstrators, then they said that no, they are not peaceful, they are fighters, but they are moderate. But they could not recognize that they were supporting the same grass root of Al Qaida and ISIS.”
Interview with TV channel “Europe 1 Radio” and “TF-1 TV”.
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