Fresh on the heels of a string of victories over Western-backed terrorists in areas where they have been entrenched for years, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sat down for an interview with RT. During the course of the interview, Assad expressed optimism at the ability of the Syrian government to fully liberate the entire country, “within a year” if it were not for the interference of the West. He also expressed optimism that the outcome would be the same whether or not the outside interference stopped, once again pledging to liberate every inch of Syrian soil.
“With every move forward for the Syrian Army, and for the political process, and for the whole situation, our enemies and our opponents, mainly the West led by the United States and their puppets in Europe and in our region, they try to make it farther – either by supporting more terrorism, bringing more terrorists to Syria, or by hindering the political process,” said Assad.
Assad stated that he believes Washington is “losing its cards” after the recent victories by the Syrian government. “Our challenge is how we can close this gap between their plans and our plans,” he said.
But he also pointed out that the closer Syria comes to victory, the more desperate the West becomes. In this regard, he mentioned the alleged and now debunked Douma chemical attack, asking “Is it in our interest? Why, and why now?” Assad stated that this incident was a last-ditch effort by the West to sway public and international opinion, an effort that failed.
“They told a story, they told a lie, and the public opinion around the world and in the West didn’t buy their story, but they couldn’t withdraw. So, they had to do something, even on a smaller scale,”Assad said, referring to the Western missile strikes against Syrian targets, including a factory that manufactured cancer drugs.
Interestingly, Assad stated that Russia played a role in restraining the United States not only in general since 2015 but also in this specific incident.
“The Russians announced publicly that they are going to destroy the bases that are going to be used to launch missiles, and our information – we don’t have evidence, we only have information, and that information is credible information – that they were thinking about a comprehensive attack all over Syria, and that’s why the threat pushed the West to make it on a much smaller scale,” the Syrian president said.
But while many pro-Syrian activists were angry at the lack of response by Russia, Assad praised the Russians for not triggering World War Three with the United States.
“We were close to have direct conflict between the Russian forces and the American forces, and fortunately, it has been avoided, not by the wisdom of the American leadership, but by the wisdom of the Russian leadership,” Assad told RT. “We need the Russian support, but we need at the same time to avoid the American foolishness in order to be able to stabilize our country.”
When asked about the political vs. military approaches to solving the conflict, Assad was resolute, reminding the interviewer that there were still battles left to fight.
“Factions like Al-Qaeda, like ISIS, like Al-Nusra, and the like-minded groups, they’re not ready for any dialogue, they don’t have any political plan; they only have this dark ideological plan, which is to be like any Al-Qaeda-controlled area anywhere in this world. So, the only option to deal with those factions is force,” Assad said, emphasizing that there is no stepping back now.
“The more escalation we have, the more determined we’ll be to solve the problem, because you don’t have any other choice; either you have a country or you don’t have a country,” the Syrian president told RT.
Assad referred to Israel’s threats as nothing more than what Syrians have lived under for years pointing out that the recent publication of those threats were merely “hysterical” reactions to watching the terrorists Israel supports finally losing in Syria.
When finally asked about Donald Trump’s tweet calling him “Animal Assad,” the Syrian president responded “This is not my language, so, I cannot use similar language. This is his language. It represents him. It represents him, and I think there is a well-known principle, that what you say is what you are.”
“Somebody like Trump will move nothing for me,” he added.
You can watch the full interview here: