In an exclusive interview with our special envoy to Damascus, Georges Malbrunot, the Syrian president Bachar el-Assad answers questions about chemical weapons, Barack Obama, the risk of a regional war, etc. This is an excerpt of the interview. Below is also a two-part video interview that Assad did with French media Le Figaro in April 2013.
LeFigaro (h/t Susan K)
LE FIGARO – Can you prove to us that your army did not use chemical weapons on 21 August in the Damascus suburb, during attacks that killed more than a thousand people, as you are accused of by Barack Obama and Francois Hollande?
Bachar el-Assad – It is for those who are making the accusations to provide the proof. We have challenged the United States and France to put forward a single proof. Obama and Hollande have been unable to do so, even to their own people. (…)? I’m not at all suggesting that the Syrian army does or does not possess such weapons. Let’s suppose that our army wishes to use WMD: is it really going to do so in an area where it is actually present and where soldiers have been wounded by these weapons, as the UN inspectors found during their visit to the hospital where they were being treated? Where is the logic in that?
What would your response be in case of military strikes against Syria?
The Middle East is a powder keg, and today the flame is coming very near. We cannot talk merely about the Syrian response, but about what might take place after the first strike. But nobody knows what will happen. Everyone will lose control of the situation when the powder keg explodes. Chaos and extremism will spread. There is a risk of regional war.
Has France become an enemy of Syria?
Whoever contributes to the terrorist’s financial or military strengthening is the enemy of the Syrian people. Whoever works against the interests of Syria and its’ citizens is an enemy. The French people is not our enemy, but the policy of its’ state is hostile to the Syrian people. To the extent that the policy of the French state is hostile to the Syrian people, this state will be its’ enemy. This hostility will end when the French state will change policy. There will be repercussions, negative off course, for the French interests.
Read the whole interview for our digital subscribers from 22.00 PM on lefigaro.fr
VIDEOS have English translations