There can never be a ceasefire between a state and terrorists

 In order for the Geneva conference - or any political solution - to succeed, it needs a number of factors: putting an end to terrorist activities, preventing terrorists from entering Syria and ceasing the supply of arms and money to terrorist groups.  Unless this is done, any political solution will be an illusion without any real value. That’s why we believe that the Geneva conference is important and necessary with the first provision for its success being the cessation of terrorist acts in Syria, underscored H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad in a recent interview given to the Chinese state television, CCTV.

The circumstances today are suitable for holding the Geneva conference, as they have been believed by the Syrians to be a month ago, six months ago, and a year ago.  The problem is neither with the Syrian government, nor with Russia, China, Iran, or many other countries in the world that support the Geneva conference in order to reach a solution in Syria.  The real problem lies with some western countries, particularly the United States, which want to hold the Geneva conference on the back of military advancements on the ground in favor of the terrorists, underlined H.E. President Al-Assad.

H.E. President Al-Assad also pointed out in the same interview that the foreign-backed terrorists are also the main obstacle to the process of riding Syria from chemicals in certain areas controlled by armed groups who may not allow inspectors access to the sites in order to obstruct their work.  Many of these groups are affiliated with foreign states whose interests lie in obstructing the implementation of the agreement in order to place blame on the Syrian government, citing the agenda of certain countries that might instruct the terrorists, the majority of which are foreigners, on the ground to apply certain tactics to prevent the inspectors from carrying out their task in order to accuse the Syrian government of obstructing the implementation of the agreement. 

The situation now favours the Syrian Army and hence it has been able to make significant progress during the past few months; given the fact that a large majority of the Syrian people – from different political factions - now support the army particularly after they have realized that what is happening is terrorism and has nothing to do with reform, underscored President Al-Assad, reiterating that there can never be a ceasefire between a state and terrorists.  Anywhere in the world, it is the duty of the state, in accordance with the constitution, to fight terrorism against citizens in its society; it is self-evident that any state should defend its citizens. 

Indeed, we are not only facing terrorist groups, we are facing powerful countries which are backing these groups: the West, countries in the region, and Gulf states which have a lot of money and are funding these terrorist groups.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

 

 

 

The Real Weapon is of knowledge and Land

The Syrians are grandsons of those who taught the Alphabet to the whole world, and who spread the arts of Commerce, Medicine and Architecture, said Mrs. Asma Al-Assad.

During her participation in ''Our roots are deep in the land'', the First Lady of Syria, Mrs. Al-Assad, appealed to the Syrians as to be attached to the Land and knowledge for the building of Syria and protection of its future.

Mrs. Al-Assad added, during the ceremony dedicated to the loving memory of the Syrian Martyrs, that we have to teach our children as to have their future: ''Our history is but part of the Syrian Identity, for which we are being the target, and as to protect and develop our country and safeguard its future, the real weapon which we can use is that of knowledge and land.''

Planting a sapling of Olives, Mrs. Al-Assad said that the Olive Tree symbolizes life and continuity, and the Martyrs, who sacrificed themselves for the Homeland, have done so as to defend the Land and as to make us continue to live. Olive is the symbol for giving, and Syria has given us much, and we have today to return the favour and play our role for Syria in contribution to its development in the coming stage. A branch of Olives symbolizes peace, which our people do believe in and search for.''

Regarding rumors about her departure from Syria, Mrs. Al-Assad said ''I am here in Syria, here too are my husband, and children, and it is out of question that I should be with them. Like the rest of the Syrians, I have been groomed up to love my homeland, and regardless of how much we travel and go far from the Homeland, there is no place most dear to us than Syria.''

''I am a mother for three children, and my responsibility towards them is to bring them up with amity for the Homeland. I can't bring them up with amity to Syria, if they weren't to live in Syria, and learn its culture, history, civilization, and if they weren't to interact with the Syrians and eat from the Homeland food. How could I teach them to contribute to the development of the country, if they weren't to live its problems? Yesterday, today and tomorrow, God willing, and for ever I remain in Syria,'' added Mrs. Al-Assad.

Mrs. Asma Al-Assad is famed for her humanitarian and social activities, where she on a daily basis receives and visits the families of the Syrian Martyrs, wounded and follows up the smallest details of Syrian children, impaired and distinguished of all spectra of society.

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Syria is and Will Remain a Secular State

According to the Lebanese Al-Akhbar Daily, Russia occupies the strategy of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He seems very reassured by the Russian role, but stresses that the Russians are not defending Syria as much as they are ultimately defending themselves. During a recent meeting with visitors at the presidential palace, including Al-Akhbar, Assad recalls a meeting he held in 2005 with President Vladimir Putin. At the time, the Syrian president told his host that he felt the Cold War still existed. Putin agreed, but tackled the question from a different angle: “True, it is a war,” he said, “but it is a cultural war between the East and the West.” This is a conviction that the Syrian president shares.

President Al-Assad, added the Daily, does not regret giving up chemical weapons. He maintains that their capacity for deterrence has expired for three reasons: First, Syria’s missile arsenal has made huge strides, so deterrence can now be established from the first moments of the war. This, he said, eliminated the need for chemical weapons, which can only be used as a last resort if the enemy deploys nuclear weapons. Second, Assad continues, huge progress has been made in the past two decades in countering the military effectiveness of chemical weapons, meaning, their effect is largely psychological.

Consequently, president Al-Assad says that Syria suspended production of chemical weapons in 1997, replacing them with conventional weapons, which he believes are the decisive element in the battlefield. Assad explains that he built the armament structure of his army based on missiles, saying, “It is enough to lay down fire on Israel’s airports to paralyze it,” since, as is known, Israel’s strength lies with its air force. Third, chemical weapons are obsolete because the war is now internal.

President Al-Assad says that Syria has no qualms attending, and that its only demand is clear and based on two principles: elections and ending support for terrorists. “Whenever we kill 1,000 terrorists, 2,000 more terrorists enter the country,” Assad says. The West’s problem, according to the Syrian president, is that the faction it supports is fragmented and has no control on the ground. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is almost done for, he says. Its fighters have either abandoned it to join Islamic groups, or have joined the government and are now fighting in the ranks of the Syrian army. Nothing is left of the forces supported by the West and the Gulf except terrorists, who have no place in Geneva II.

“Not one Arab official has contacted us with a plan for mediation or for an Arab solution,” he says. The Arabs, he says, were always only an echo of their Western “masters,” if not worse. The problem, from Assad’s point of view, lies with the other side, specifically the West. Those that the West can bring to the conference, he says, have no control on the ground, and as for those who have control on the ground, the West has no influence over them. He recalls that Lakhdar Brahimi came to him one time, carrying an American assessment stating that there were 2,000 militant groups fighting in Syria. When the Syrian president asked him what his own estimate was, Brahimi said 1,200. So, Assad asks: Who can control all these groups and guarantee they would implement any political agreement?

 “Not one Arab official has contacted us with a plan for mediation or for an Arab solution,” he says. The Arabs, he says, were always only an echo of their Western “masters,” if not worse.

Assad seems reassured by the progress of military operations. He says the war follows a hit-and-run pattern, where his army regains control of some territories while losing others, and so on. However, President Assad adds, if we consider the general course things have been taking, we would find that the Syrian army is clearly advancing. In the same vein, the Syrian president highlights two particular problems: Daraa and the Jordanian front on the one hand, and the north, on the other hand. In the first, Assad says that fighters and weapons continue to flow from Jordan, regardless of whether this was being staged by the Jordanian regime or Gulf countries. As for the second, specifically in Aleppo near the border with Turkey, Turkish support has kept the front hot. “But the Turks have a problem now, after al-Qaeda seized the crossing,” Assad says, adding that there are no intractable problems in the rest of the regions.

President Al-Assad denies categorically the reports circulated a few days ago, holding that Abbas Zaki, member of Fatah’s central committee, had brought him a message from the new emir of Qatar. Interestingly, beyond the reporter’s question about this issue, Assad did not mention Qatar again in the interview. Khaled Meshaal and his team in Doha figured more in our conversation with the Syrian president, in fact.

 “Hamas has sided against Syria from day one. They have made their choice,” he adds.The conversation moves to Hamas when the president is asked about the reports regarding Meshaal’s visit to Tehran, and whether Damascus, specifically the presidential palace, would be his next stop. But Assad is keen on clarifying everything in this regard, ending all equivocation. First, Assad says that the Muslim Brotherhood, for 80 years, has been known for its opportunism and betrayal, but stresses that Damascus did not treat Hamas in the beginning as being part of the international Islamist organization. “The Europeans would come to us and ask what Hamas was doing here, and we would say that it was a resistance movement,” the Syrian president says, adding that only that capacity made Syria welcome and sponsor Hamas.

President Al-Assad says, “When the crisis began, [Hamas officials] claimed that they gave us advice. This is a lie. Who are they to give Syria advice? Then they said that we asked for their help, which is also not true. What business do they have in internal Syrian affairs?”

President Al-Assad  is clearly still wounded by Hamas’ actions. But he keeps the door open to all possibilities if Syria’s interests require making certain rapprochements. In the end, he says, politics is about both principles and interests.

 “[Iraq’s] stance has been very good from the beginning,” he says. Assad stresses that he’s not only talking about Baghdad, but also Iraqi Kurdistan. Though Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari expressed some extreme positions, Assad says, Iraq’s stance remains “very good.”

Syria is and will remain a secular state because this is the only suitable formula for cohesion in the country, which enjoys religious, sectarian, and ethnic pluralism, Assad says.Meanwhile, Damascus has been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt. Assad asserts, “Egypt is the fortress of the Arabs,” saying that relations with Egypt are today better than they were, even under former President Hosni Mubarak.

In the meantime, hostility and estrangement with Saudi Arabia continues. At the end of the day, Assad remarks, Saudi Arabia is nothing more than “a state of tribes and individuals.” “Personal relations determine [policy], and when one person falls out with us, all of Saudi Arabia falls out with us,” he adds.“The Saudis have been hostile to Syria for the past 20 to 30 years to begin with. What changed was the relationship with their master. When their master’s relationship with us is good, they are good with us. When their masters fall out with us, they become hostile to us. There is always the personal factor in Saudi policies,” he says.

With respect to Turkey, according to Assad, the problem is confined to the person of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish people, Assad maintains, are opposed to Erdogan’s policies. Even President Abdullah Gul has started to publicly express his opposition to the policies of his prime minister, Assad purports, saying that Gul thinks that if Erdogan wants to gamble with himself, he should at least not gamble his entire political party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Under no circumstances will Syria follow the Lebanese or Iraqi model, President Al-Assad underlines. Syria is and will remain a secular state because this is the only suitable formula for cohesion in the country, which enjoys religious, sectarian, and ethnic pluralism, Assad says. He asserts there should be no politicization of religion in Syria because this would simply be a recipe for disintegration. Religion, he went on to say, has its spiritual and humanitarian functions, praising the vital role played by patriotic clerics in maintaining the unity of the Syrian fabric and combating takfiri ideas.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

The Biggest Victory

The biggest victory today is to eliminate terrorism, terrorists and terrorist thinking, underscored H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad in a recent interview with Tishreen Daily.

Actually, the best way out from the ongoing crisis in Syria is through the elimination of terrorism and terrorists. Thus is the need is dire to end  support for terrorist groups in Syria, especially the support provided by the West tools in the region like Turkey, still providing the terrorists with logistic support and facilitating their movement and entry to Syria, and Saudi Arabia, still sending the terrorists and supporting them with money and weapons.

''The real mass destruction weapons used against us, which we have to think how to deter, are the weapons of extremism. This weapon is the most lethal than any other weapon, and some countries, including Israel, use it against us; we have to focus at this weapon and how to deter it. Most important deterrence  now is how to combat terrorism, and this is the priority at this stage,'' outlined H.E. President Al-Assad, asserting that Syria, never to negotiate with the terrorists, has no alternative other than defending the country against terrorism.

"It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card because it is like a scorpion which won't hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity," President Al-Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV. Indeed it is this very scorpion which is to turn the entire region upside down if it weren't to be unanimously fought against and eliminated. 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Why to Silence Freedom of Speech!

The repeated aggressions against Syrian Mass Media Means do assert that these means are effective, influential and professional. The main task of these means is to objectively and transparently convey the reality of events in Syria, characterized mostly by an internationally supported al-Qaeda affiliated terrorism against the majority of the Syrians. Terrorists from more than 83 countries have been flocking into the cradle of civilization as to destroy every aspect and feature of the Syrian civilization.

The Syrian media heroes, encouraged by their people, government, and leadership, have been more than keen on conveying and reporting the truth on the ground; that is Syria is indeed exposed to terrorism by cannibals supported and groomed by the ewes, petrodollars, some Western countries. The picture is well-known by now to the majority worldwide, thanks to the transparent and objective coverage of the Syrian and other objective media outlets. Of no less importance are the consequent press interviews given by H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad to scores of international media outlets, aired in different international languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, German…Actually and as events and changes of public opinions in different countries have shown, President Al-Assad not only conveyed the reality, but has been able to change and shape the public opinion in more than a continent.

Thus, the need is dire by the anti-Syrians to silence the voice of truth and logic; the anti-Syrians have assassinated and kidnapped scores of Syrian media personnel, carried out scores of attacks against Syrian Media organs, the last of which was yesterday's botched bid against Syrian TV and Radio, not to mention the sinister cutting of the Syrian Satellite transmission from NileSat.

Actually, we, in Syria, as H.E. President Al-Assad declared on November 10, 2005, the more we move ahead in terms of transparency and pass correct information quickly to our citizens, the more they will be immune. And no power whatsoever can make cause us neither panic nor fear. ''The Syrian people will not be defeated .We are not surprised by the attack, simply because these attacks reflect the bankruptcy of the terrorist groups. The professional performance of the Syrian media outlets made them the target for the terrorist attacks. Indeed, the Syrian media, under the wise directions of Minister Omran al-Zoubi, the long-awaited for field media soldier,  plays a vital role in confronting as well as foiling the plots against Syria.

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim