President Assad's Russia 24 and NTV channels Interview, December 14, 2016

President Bashar al-Assad asserted that military operations will not stop after liberating Aleppo city from terrorists, and that pauses only happen in an area in which terrorists say that they are prepared to hand in their weapons or leave the area.

In an interview given to Russia 24 and NTV channels that was broadcast on Wednesday, President al-Assad said that the recent attack by ISIS on Palmyra in large numbers and over a large area means that ISIS received direct support from states, and that the timing of this attack is linked to the battle of Aleppo, because they wanted to undermine the importance of liberating Aleppo and to to distract the Syrian Army and fragment its efforts in different directions, asserting that “as we liberated Palmyra in the past, we will liberate it again.”

His Excellency said that the Americans are treacherous, and when their plans fail, they create chaos and then manage the chaos in a manner which enables them to blackmail the different parties, adding that Washington tried to promote the idea that there is something called “moderate opposition” or “moderate fighters,” but they failed in doing that because the facts on the ground proved that all those they support are extremists, whether they belong to al-Nusra, ISIS, or other organizations with the same extremist and terrorist ideology.

President al-Assad said that reconstruction is a huge and very useful economy for any country in the post-war stage, and that Syria has very large material capabilities in the private sector, both in Syria or in the countries of expatriation or among businessmen who emigrated during the crisis, stressing that most of those will return to rebuild their country, and consequently economic movement will start, affirming that there isn’t a great concern in this regard, adding that the Syrian people will not accept any company coming from any state that took a hostile position towards Syria or towards the integrity of Syrian territory or a state that supported terrorists.

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

Question 1: Mr. President, thank you very much for availing us of this opportunity in order to know your perspective of what’s happening in Syria now, and how the situation would be in the future. I believe that it’s very important for our Russian audience to know what’s going on outside our country. Let’s start with the success you have achieved in Aleppo, which is really an important achievement and gives you significant power. But, what will happen after Aleppo? Are you going to move towards Idleb or al-Raqqa, or are you going to stop a little in order to strengthen your position, or reframe your conditions – based on your current strength – in order to reach an understanding with other powers, like the American alliance?

President Assad:  All the things you mentioned go in parallel: we liberate a certain area of the terrorists, and then strengthen our positions in that area, taking precautions against any counterattack by the terrorists from any direction, particularly that they receive support from a number of countries. At the same time, and in parallel with military operations, we provide opportunities on a daily basis both for civilians to leave the terrorist-controlled areas and an exit to terrorists themselves if they want to leave the area with their light weapons or hand themselves over to the state and receive an amnesty in return. As to Aleppo, liberating the city is of course important, but before we talk about the other areas, we need to fortify the city from the outside, in the sense of cleaning the areas surrounding it of terrorists. So far, the areas in which the terrorists are ensconced are about a few square kilometers, but terrorists outside the city are still shelling it with rockets and mortars on a daily basis. Two days ago, a number of people fell martyrs and dozens were wounded in Aleppo. So, liberating Aleppo doesn’t end with liberating the city itself, for it needs to be secured on the outside. Afterwards, identifying which city comes next depends on which city contains the largest number of terrorists and which city provides other countries the opportunity to support them logistically. Currently, there are direct links between Aleppo and Idleb because of the presence of Jabhat al-Nusra inside and on the outskirts of Aleppo and in Idleb. But the final answer to this must be after the liberation of the city, first, and through discussions with the Russian leadership which takes part in these battles with us, and also with the Iranian leadership.

Question 2: But when this operation is over, you no doubt have future plans. Will you stop and start negotiations? Or will you move forward in order not to give terrorists any opportunity?

President Assad: There will be no pause, because this only happens in an area in which terrorists say that they are prepared to hand in their weapons or leave the area. Only then, military operations stop. Operations do not stop during negotiations, because we do not trust the terrorists, because they often say something and do the opposite. They used to ask for ceasefires only to strengthen their positions and obtain supplies consisting of weapons, ammunition, etc. That’s why we do not allow that. Only when we agree to something specific, we do that.

War against Terrorism is for the Entire World, President Assad Underscored

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ the decision as to liberate all of Syria has been taken since the beginning, including the liberation of Aleppo; we have never thought for a single day about leaving and region without liberation, underlined H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

In excerpts of an interview with the Syrian Al-Watan Daily, published Wednesday night by SANA, President Al-Assad pointed out that the developments of fighting operations against terrorism last year led to the military results witnessed recently.

The liberation of the Eastern region of Aleppo comes not within the political framework, but within the course of the normal military actions.

The liberation of Aleppo from terrorists means that no real cards would remain in the hands of the terrorists or in hands of the states supporting the terrorists, H.E. President Al-Assad underlined.

H.E. President Al-Assad asserted that to achieve victory in Damascus or in Aleppo is ,from a military perspective, to achieve a big political and military achievement, because both are important cities from the political and economic status.  

The Americans insist on calling for a truce, because their agents of terrorists are in a difficult position, President Al-Assad noted, so we hear the cries, wailings and begging for truce, in addition to the talk about humanitarian aspects.

In reply to a question about relations with Russia, H.E. President Al-Assad added that we want to bolster these relations and we before and after the crisis call for Russian investments in Syria, citing the basis of principles in the politics of Russia.

The war against terrorism is not only a war for Syria; it is indeed a war for Russia, the region, Europe and for the entire world in general, declared H.E. President Al-Assad.

We seek relations with all world countries, including the Western, reiterated H.E. President Al-Assad, criticizing the hypocrisy and bias of some Western countries.

In reply to another question, President Al-Assad expressed the hope that the wise in Turkey would be able to make Erdogan backtrack on his recklessness and foolishness regarding the Syrian subject as to evade confrontations and we should work for this.

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

Question: Mr. President, can we start with Aleppo? The army is advancing quickly in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo. But there are American and international efforts, and there are also negotiations with Russia in order to stop fighting completely in these areas. Has the decision to liberate Aleppo completely been taken?

President Assad:  The decision to liberate the whole of Syria, including Aleppo, was taken right at the beginning. We have never thought of leaving any area unliberated. But the developments of military actions during the last year led to these military results which we have seen recently, i.e. liberating the eastern part of Aleppo recently doesn’t come in a political framework, but rather in the context of normal military operations.

Question: Why this international panic and concern for the militants in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, although most of them belong to al-Nusra, which is listed as a terrorist organization?

President Assad: There are a number of reasons. First, after the failure of the battle, or battles, for Damascus in the first years of the crisis, and later the failure of the battles for Homs, which was supposed to be a stronghold for the fake or supposed revolution, they moved to Aleppo as their last hope. The advantage that Aleppo enjoys for the terrorists and their supporters is that it is close to Turkey, and consequently logistic supplies to Aleppo are much easier from all aspects. So, they concentrated on Aleppo during the last two years, and that’s why liberating Aleppo from the terrorists deals a blow to the whole foundation of the project, Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo. That way the terrorists and the countries supporting them are deprived of any real cards.

President Assad RTP TV Interview

 H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad gave the following interview to RTP TV channel:

Question 1: Mr. President, let’s start with Aleppo if you don’t mind. There are still thousands of civilians trapped, trying to survive in a sort of sub-human conditions in the middle of a deluge of bombs. Why do you think that they refused to get out?

President Assad: The part that you mention in Aleppo, what they call it the eastern part, is occupied by the terrorists for the last three years, and they have been using the civilians as human shields. From our side, from our part as government, we have two missions: the first one is to fight those terrorists to liberate that area and the civilians from those terrorists, and at the same time to try to find a solution to evacuate that area from those terrorists if they accept, let’s say, what you call it reconciliation option, in which they either give up their armaments for amnesty, or they leave that area. The other thing we did as government is to open gates for the civilians to leave that area, and at the same time for the humanitarian convoys and help to go through those gates inside that part of Aleppo, but the terrorists publicly refused any solution, so they wanted to keep the situation as it is.

Question 2: But Mr. President, aren’t you using the jihadists to discredit all the oppositions at the eyes of the national and international public opinion, and in the end to try to wipe them all out?

President Assad: No, we cannot do that for a very simple reason: because we’ve been dealing with this kind of terrorism since the fifties, since the Muslim Brotherhood came to Syria at that time, and we learned that lesson very well, especially in the eighties, that terrorists cannot be used as a political card, you cannot put it in your pocket, because it’s like a scorpion; it will bite you someday. So, we cannot use jihadists because it’s like shooting yourself in the foot. They’re going to be against you sooner or later. This is in a pragmatic way, but if you think as value, we wouldn’t do it. Using terrorism or jihadists or extremists for any political agenda is immoral.

President Assad's the Serbian Politika Interview, November 3, 2016

 H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad asserted that the United States and its Western allies are to blame for the failure of latest ceasefire, because terrorism and terrorists are for them a card they want to play on the Syrian arena.

In an interview given to the Serbian newspaper Politika, President Al-Assad said that Russia is very serious and very determined to continue fighting the terrorists, while the Americans base their politics on a different value as they use the terrorists as a card to play the political game to serve their own interests at the expense of the interests of other countries in the world.

President Al-Assad pointed out that Western countries wanted to use the humanitarian mask in order to have an excuse to intervene more in Syria, either militarily or by supporting the terrorists.

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

Question 1: Mr. President, why has the latest Syria ceasefire failed? Who is to blame for that?

President Assad:  Actually, the West, mainly the United States, has made that pressure regarding the ceasefire, and they always ask for ceasefire only when the terrorists are in a bad situation, not for the civilians. And they try to use those ceasefires in order to support the terrorists, bring them logistic support, armament, money, everything, in order to re-attack and to become stronger again. When it didn’t work, they ask the terrorists to make it fail or to start attacking again. So, who’s to blame? It’s the United States and its allies, the Western countries, because for them, terrorists and terrorism are a card they want to play on the Syrian arena, it’s not a value, they’re not against terrorists. For them, supporting the terrorists is a war of attrition against Syria, against Iran, against Russia, that’s how they look at it. That’s why not only this ceasefire; every attempt regarding ceasefire or political moving or political initiative, every failure of these things, the United States was to be blamed.

Question 2: But which country is supporting terrorism? Saudi Arabia? Qatar?

President Assad:  Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey

Journalist: Turkey?

President Assad:  Because they came through Turkey with the support of the government, direct support from the government.

Journalist: Directly?

President Assad:  Direct support from the government, of course.

Journalist: With money or with armament?

President Assad:  Let’s say, the endorsement, the greenlight, first. Second, the American coalition, which is called “international coalition,” which is an American. They could see ISIS using our oil fields and carrying the oil through the barrel trucks to Turkey under their drones…

Journalist: This is the Syrian oil?

President Assad's Swiss SRF 1 TV Interview, October 19, 2016

 H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad stressed that protecting civilians in Aleppo necessitates getting rid of the terrorists.

Speaking in an interview with the Swiss SRF 1 TV channel, President Assad said “Of course, it’s our mission according to the constitution and the law. We have to protect the people, and we have to get rid of those terrorists in Aleppo. That’s how we can protect civilians.”

He added that it goes without saying that the way to protect the civilians in Aleppo is to attack the terrorists who hold the civilians under their control and are killing them.

 Following is the full text of the interview, as published by SANA:

Journalist: Mr. President, thank you very much for having welcomed Swiss Television and our program Rundschau here in Damascus.

President Assad: You are most welcome in Syria.

Question 1: First, please, allow me to clarify one thing: may I ask you every question?

President Assad: Every question, without exception.

Question 2: I’m asking because one of your conditions is that interview is being broadcast in its full version. Are you afraid that we might manipulate your statements?

President Assad: You should answer that question, but I think we should build this relation upon the trust, and I think you are worried about the trust of your audience, so I don’t think so. I think you have good reputation in conveying the truth in every subject you try to cover.

Question 3: Do you see it as a lie, that the world considers you as to be a war criminal?

President Assad: That depends on what the reference in defining that word. Is it the international law, or is it the Western agenda or the Western political mood, let’s say, that’s being defined by vested-interests politicians in the West? According to the international law, as a President and as government and as Syrian Army, we are defending our country against the terrorists that have been invading Syria as proxies to other countries. So, if you want to go back to that word, the “war criminal,” I think the first one who should be tried under that title are the Western officials; starting with George Bush who invaded Iraq without any mandate from the Security Council. Second, Cameron and Sarkozy who invaded and destroyed Libya without mandate from the Security Council. Third, the Western officials who are supporting the terrorists during the last five years in Syria, either by providing them with political umbrella, or supporting them directly with armaments, or implementing embargo on the Syrian people that has led to the killing of thousands of Syrian civilians.

Question 4: But we are here to talk about your role in this war, and the US Secretary of State John Kerry called you “Adolf Hitler” and “Saddam Hussein” in the same breath. Does it bother you?

President Assad: No, because they don’t have credibility. This is first of all. Second, for me as President, what I care about first and foremost is how the Syrian people look at me; second, my friends around the world – not my personal friends as President, I mean our friends as Syrians, like Russia, like Iran, like China, like the rest of the world – not the West, the West always tried to personalize things, just to cover the real goals which is about deposing government and getting rid of a certain president just to bring puppets to suit their agenda. So, going back to the beginning, no I don’t care about what Kerry said, at all. It has no influence on me.