President al-Assad to Sky News Arabia: Those who stood by terrorism and plotted for war are the ones who bear responsibility for destruction in Syria

Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad affirmed that terrorism was the reason behind destruction in Syria, and those who stood by terrorism, intended for war and plotted it, bear the responsiblity, not the ones who have fought against terrorism.

President Assad added in an interview given to Sky News Arabia that during the past years, nearly half a million refugees returned to Syria, but now, the President wonders, how can a refugee return without water, electricity, schools for his children, and without medical treatment, these are the basics of life. This was the reason.

If Syria has been able to avoid the war, President al-Assad said that theoretically, the war could have been avoided if we had submitted to all the demands that were imposed on Syria with various issues, foremost of which was the abandonment of Syrian rights and Syrian interests, so I say, in a theoretical point of view, that because we will not go in this direction, but if we assume that we will go, then this means that we will avoid war, but later, we will pay a much greater price.

About the volume of destruction beacue of terrorism , President Assad said “We did not expect the extent of destruction to be of this volume because we did not know what plots were prepared. We knew that things were being prepared for Syria, and we knew from the beginning of the war that it would be a long war, not an incidental crisis as some thought, but the details, no, no one could expect them.”

“There was terrorism and the State was fighting it, and terrorism was killing, destroying and burning… There is no state, even if it was between two parentheses “bad” that destroys the homeland, so terrorism is the one that caused the destruction. The state’s role, by virtue of the constitution and national custom, is to defend the state,” President al-Assad added.

As for the scenarios which were plotted in the region, President Assad said: We, in Syria, were aware of the scenarios that were put and marketed in the media to create a state of terror, so these scenarios were not in our minds in general, especially since we were engaged in an existential battle. The target was not Gaddafi, it was Libya, and it was not Saddam Hussein, it was Iraq. And the target was not President Bashar, it was Syria.”

President Assad wondered if counter-terrorism is the one that destroyed the country? saying “If we let terrorism, could the State be constructed! This is illogical. So, the one who bears the responsibility is the one who stood by terrorism, not the one who defended against terrorism. The one who bears the responsibility is the one who intended for war, the one who planned the war, and the one who attacked, not the one who was attacked.”

Regarding the impact of the freindly countries on Syria, President Assad added “The friends’ standing by our side had an important impact on the steadfastness of Syria, but friends cannot replace us in the war, in the battle, and in resilience, for the real steadfastness is the steadfastness of the people.”

Responding a question about the return of Syria to the Arab League and the inter-Arab relations, President Assad wondered “Will Syria’s return to the Arab League be formal or something else,” This depends on the nature of Arab-Arab relations, have they changed? I do not think that it has changed in depth. There is an awareness of the volume of the risks that affect us as Arab countries, but it has not reached the stage of developing solutions, as long as there are no solutions to the problems, then the relationship will remain formal.”

As for the file of refugees, President Assad stressed “during the past years, bearly half a million refugees returned to Syria, and none of them was imprisoned. Why did this return stop? It stopped because of the situation of the living conditions. How can a refugee return without water, electricity, schools for his children, and no medical treatment? These are the basics of life. This was the reason.”

Regarding drug trafficking, the President  said “If we are the ones seeking as a state to encourage the drug trafficking in Syria; This means that we, as a state, encouraged the terrorists to come to Syria and carry out destruction and killing, because the result is the same… If we put the people between terrorism on the one hand and drugs on the other, then we are destroying society and the country with our own hands, where is our interest.”

“The drug trafficking  is present and has not stopped, but when there is war and the weakness of the state, this trade could flourish, and those who bear responsibility in this case are the countries that contributed to creating chaos in Syria, not the Syrian State,” the President added.

About the so-called “Caesar Act”, Presdient al-Assad said it is an obstacle to the improvement of the economy, but “we managed in several ways to overcome this “Act,” the biggest obstacle is the destruction of the infrastructure by terrorists, the image of the war in Syria, which prevents any investor from coming to deal with the Syrian market. The biggest obstacle is also time.”

About the expectations from the Arab side regarding Syria, President Assad said “I can’t predict, I can hope, hope we can build institutions. The problem of the Arabs is that they did not build relations on institutions. Therefore, they did not build institutions, and if we talk about bilateral relations, they are weak for this reason and the collective relationship through the Arab League, because the Arab League did not turn into an institution in the true sense, this is what we see and this is what we hope to be able to overcome.”.

As for “opposition,” President al-Assad commented that “it is the opposition that is made locally, not that one made externally. Locally made means that it has a popular base, a national program, and a national awareness.

As for the Israeli aggression on Syrian territory and who is the targeted, the President said “The truth is that the Syrian army is mainly targeted under the title of the Iranian presence, and it will continue as long as Israel is an enemy, and it will continue as long as we are able to thwart the terrorists’ plans, even partially, because these strikes began when the Syrian army began to achieve victories in the battles it is engaged in, and we take into account that we have not finished from the war yet.”

As for Turkey and the possibility of any meeting with Erdogan, President Assad said “ A word without preconditions for a meeting means without an agenda, without an agenda means without preparation, without preparation means without results, so why do Erdogan and I meet?! We want to reach a clear goal. Our goal is the Turkish withdrawal from the Syrian lands, while Erdogan’s goal is to legitimize the presence of the Turkish occupation in Syria. Therefore, the meeting cannot take place under Erdogan’s conditions.”

Mhamad/Mazen Eyon

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