DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry issued a statement commenting on how some negative media outlets dealt with its previous statement delivered by spokesman Dr. Jihad Makdissi, deliberately taking it out of context and portraying it as a declaration of possessing non-traditional weapons by Syria.
The Ministry said that the goal of the statement and the press conference wasn't to declare but rather to respond to a methodical media campaign targeting Syria to prepare world public opinion for the possibility of military intervention under the false premise of weapons of mass destruction (similar to what happened with Iraq) or the possibility of using such weapons against terrorist groups or civilians, or transporting them to a third party.
The statement affirmed that such allegations are completely false, noting that nonetheless they are dangerous allegations as they are made by the same sides that are rallying against Syria in mass media and international circles, noting that these are the same sides that fabricated lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be false later.
The Ministry said that Makdissi's statements were meant to explain the state's general defensive policies in response to false media speculations and allegations, stressing the need to commit to precision and professionalism in news related to Syria and putting them in the proper context.
Earlier, Foreign and Expatriates Ministry spokesman Dr. Jihad Makdissi responded to a question on developments in some neighborhoods in Damascus and outskirts by saying that "it is clear that the Syrian army is defending the Syrians and that we are in state of self-defense. There might be clashes in certain areas but the security situation is much more better."
He added that the state will respond to those who carry weapons in the same way, stressing that doors are open to those who call for dialogue and adopt political solution.
Makdissi noted that the media labels what is happening as the "great battle of Damascus" and wondered how can such a battle against armed sides be fought if not in a military manner, even if some civilians were forced out of their houses, adding that Damascus Governorate is cooperating with charity organizations to provide help for those people.
He stressed that this is an urgent situation that won't last for more than one or two days before things go back to normal, pointing out that those who follow the Syrian media can see those who are arrested and the operations being carried out to establish peace.
Regarding news on armed terrorist groups taking control of border crossings with Turkey and Iraq, Makdissi said that two such border crossings are out of control which were already abandoned and out of service since last June.
Commenting on the statement of the Arab Ministerial Committee in Doha, Makdissi said that changing Annan's mission is not at the hands of the Arabs and that it's mere wishes they make and constitutes political hypocrisy, underlining that talking about a transitional authority system constitutes a flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Makdissi regretted that the Arab League has descended to this immoral level in dealing with a founding state and the fact that instead of helping Syria, they are complicating the situation further.
He said that the Syrian people make their own decisions and that they are the ones who will meet for dialogue, and the results of this dialogue will be binding as the decisive factor is the ballot boxes and sitting down for dialogue serving Syria's interests and not the interests of others.
Makdissi said that if these Arab countries were honest in wanting to end the shedding of Syrian blood, then they should stop arming and harboring terrorists and instigating through the media against Syria because these acts can't contribute to overcoming the crisis in peaceful ways.
He added that the alleged keenness of these Arab countries is fake and proves their political hypocrisy.
As for the statements of the Russian ambassador in Paris, Makdissi stressed that the Russian diplomat is the only one to clarify his statements, not the Syrian Foreign Ministry.
He went on to add that Syria has agreed to a political process within Annan's plan which was approved by the UN Security Council and agreed to a political process led by Syria and the Syrians, adding "We will commit to what the Syrians agree upon, but not what the west agrees upon."
Regarding the tumult regarding the recent Security Council decision to extend the observer mission, Makdissi highlighted that Syria didn't request Annan's mission; rather the international community pretended that it wanted to help Syria, noting that they had sent an Arab observer mission earlier then they themselves foiled it, not Syria.
He hoped that the UN observer mission will be successful, noting that shifting or amending this mission is entrusted to the Security Council and reaffirming Syria's commitment to the success of Annan's plan.
Makdissi stressed that the obstacles hindering Annan's plan aren't caused by Syria, but rather by those who fund, arm and harbor terrorists and those who speak of weapons of mass destruction and prepare the public opinion for things that will not happen.
Answering a question on the external political escalation which synchronies with a visit of the US Secretary of Defense to Israel to discuss the possibility of targeting the sites of Syrian weapons, Makdissi said that "Even though I don't know the agenda of the visit, but the reasons can't be good… They are making a media and political campaign and they are leading it, while we say that we are in a state of self-defense."
On the possibility of a comprehensive war taking place in the region in case Israel decided to attack Syria, Makdissi said "Don't ask a diplomat about a war option, I'm not talking about a war and, God willing, there will be no war."
Regarding the issue of the appearance of Hussam Hussam, the "witness" in the assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, in a video broadcast by some channels in which he claimed that he has surprises regarding that case, Makdissi said he saw that Youtube clip like everyone else, noting that Hussam contradicted himself, adding "we don't want to spoil the surprise… we will wait and hear these surprises."