Liar of Syrian regime
Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, is trying to whitewash the regime through his claims that are not reflecting the reality, and his manipulations at the UN.
Article from: http://aa.com.tr/en/info/infographic/2908
Third anniversary of the Ghouta chemical attack Syria
A Syrian witness to war – Something inside me broke
Mohammed Abdullah (Artino) joined the 2011 protests, was arrested, tortured, and later witnessed the chemical attack on Ghouta.
Mohammed Abdullah (Artino) spoke to Middle East Eye about his experiences since joining the Syrian protests in 2011, later becoming a war photographer who witnessed the Ghouta chemical attack.
I joined the protest movement in March 2011. It was a decision that cost me many friends and changed the course of all our lives. Those were heady, exciting days. There were so many of us. We really thought our peaceful protest could beat the system. When the older generation joined the movement we felt invincible.
I am an Alawite, like the al-Assad family and much of the military establishment. I had grown up seeing how people used and abused their influence and hated the corruption that was so rife in all parts of Syria. I wanted to live in a country where everyone could be seen as equal.
After just a few weeks, I was filmed attending a funeral and arrested. I was taken to the notorious prison of the Mukhabarat, the Syrian secret police, where I was placed in solitary confinement, blindfolded and strapped to a chair. One guard was particularly bad. He must have been a big guy because I could feel his huge hands when he smashed me with his fists.
One day I fought back. “What have I done? Uncuff me, take off this mask! Why won’t you show me your face, are you a coward? Why can’t we talk man to man?” He went crazy, picked up the chair, and threw me against the wall.
I was also subjected to the infamous flying carpet where the prisoner is strapped down to a hinged board and the ends are brought together. The aim is to bend the spine and inflict maximum pain. The prison experience still haunts me. When I came out, I felt so unclean that I would spend hours in the shower.
Because my father was in the military, he was able to secure my release after a week, on payment of 60,000 Syrian Lira. He was an intelligence officer in the Syrian Air Force, part of the Mukhabarat no less. Both my parents were from Golan. My mother was Circassian, and a Sunni. She died while giving birth to me, her third son, so I was brought up by my maternal uncle and his wife.
I found out that the authorities were after me, so I escaped to Ghouta, a rural area to the east of the city where my adopted parents had a house. Soldiers regularly searched the area, and anyone deemed a rebel or traitor would be arrested or shot. So my mother dressed me in a khemar, traditionally worn by local women. Anyone who meets me can see I am hardly the most feminine of men, but there I stood swathed in layer upon layer of black cotton. Whenever we heard government forces were close-by, I would be told to go and sit with the women.
Barely getting out alive
As the protest movement developed into a full-scale war, I met the famous Serbian photographer, Goran Tomasevic. He took me on as his fixer, and I would organise his schedule and carry equipment.
Every day we would go up to the frontline and take pictures of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). I would wake at 4am and wait for one of the rebel soldiers to call. They would tell us where the fighting was likely to be. It was risky work and frightening seeing death and killing so close up.
Goran was crazy, he did not seem to feel fear. One January morning a sniper’s bullet missed my head by millimetres, he just turned to me and laughed: “Luckily you are so f**** short.”
Another day we were waiting in an empty building when two or three grenades came whistling through the air, followed by heavy artillery barrage. The rebels fired back. Bullets were flying everywhere. For 30 minutes there was no let-up. Very slowly we inched into a cupboard in one of the back rooms. I cannot believe we got out of there alive.
Being an amateur photographer before the war, Goran became my teacher. He introduced me to Reuters so I started my career as a photojournalist. When my photos began to appear on the front pages of major international newspapers, I felt happy and proud. I am just a civilian. I am not a soldier. I am not a fighter. Neither of us expected this to be our job, but when our countries were burning we picked up a camera.
On my way to shoot a local brigade, I was hit by a shell. One moment I was walking down the street, the next I was in the air. When I came round I knew it was bad. My knee, thigh, shoulder, hand, the complete right side of my body was badly damaged. I was put in an old ambulance where all the glass had been blown out. As it careered along, I leaned out the window directing the driver away from pot-holes.
I was confined to my bed for two months. I was in pain – there were no painkillers – but also bored from being housebound. I pestered my friends to take me out. Reluctantly they would push me towards the frontline in my wheelchair so I could continue taking pictures.
In August 2013, I witnessed the now infamous chemical attack in Ghouta. I was woken in the middle of the night with news of a gas attack. The next morning, despite several warnings not to go, I went to investigate myself. Nothing prepared me for what I saw: children, babies lying on the floor in their pajamas, so still and calm with no visible signs of injury. They looked like they were sleeping but all around was mayhem: everyone was screaming and crying, but the children were so still and other-worldly. I noticed their strange complexions; they had fluid coming out of their mouths and eyes. They were all dead. They say more than 400 children were killed.
I was paralysed. I could not move, let alone take a picture. As the feeling of nausea ebbed away, I found a doctor and I asked him: “How can you be sure this is chemical and not a normal death?” He himself was in shock, his colleague had died after inhaling the sarin gas. He carefully showed me the dark blue colour on their skin; the foam and vomit around their mouths were the signs of asphyxiation.
The bodies were laid out in schools and mosques, rows upon rows of them. I wandered from one building to the other taking photos. Something inside me broke: so many victims, survivors hallucinating and gasping for breath. Hell came to Eastern Gouta that day. Barack Obama said that if Assad had used chemical weapons on his own people there would be no other option but to intervene. We are still waiting.
I persuaded my parents to leave Ghouta because the whole area was besieged by government forces. The siege was getting tighter and the food we had stored would not last long. None of us choose to abandon our homes, but sometimes we just run out of options. My parents are in their fifties and living in a warzone is a huge burden.
Improve your body, improve your mind
Left alone for two months with a broken knee, I had to fend for myself as best as I could. I would crawl across the floor just to reach the bathroom. It was tough and humiliating but more than that I was fed up. I began reading avidly, finishing a novel each day and researching survival techniques on the internet. But it was not enough. I was powerless and my body was not mine anymore.
Then it hit me. I would start working out. If I could improve my body it would have a positive impact on my mental state. What 30-year-old guy does not want a six-pack? Did it matter that I was living under siege, in a country at war – no. As I posted the photos on Facebook, my friends commented wildly. They had seen too much blood and bullets, this was different, funny even, my quest for a beautiful body. Bit by bit, I started to gain strength and move again. I was proud of my developing abs. Perhaps they were not perfectly sculpted because I lacked the protein and fat necessary to build the muscle. It may seem strange that while my neighbours were scrambling to find enough food to feed their children, I worried about how I looked. This is what extreme situations do to you.
The calcium in my knee was decomposing, and the only long-term option was a knee transplant, something impossible in Ghouta. Every time I went to the field hospital to get my screws fixed, I could see my case was not a priority; people with life-threatening conditions could not get enough medicine. Hobbling around on a stick, I taught photography to children but I could not walk more than a few metres. The pain was unbearable.
Who can you trust?
I paid a smuggler $4,000 to provide me with a fake Syrian ID and take me to Lebanon. Before the war this journey was less than two hours, but it took us the best part of a month. I could not move fast due to the injury and there was fighting on all sides. You are moved from safe house to safe house, passed from group to group; sometimes it is the FSA and sometimes individuals who could be best described as gunrunners or bandits. It is a terrifying process, your heart is constantly in your mouth, you jump at any noise. Can you trust the smugglers or will they betray you to the government forces? We had to dodge the different armed groups, sleeping in bombed out buildings or sometimes outside.
After the bombs, the cold and hunger, I felt surrounded by luxury in Lebanon. When I asked my friend for a glass of water, I expected him to go over to the sink, but as he opened the fridge and the light flicked on, I broke down and wept. I was so overwhelmed and exhausted.
As I tried to establish my life there, I found I was forgetting small things: names and appointments. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I still had not been able to get my injuries fixed. I then learned of another option, resettlement.
‘I am just a regular metalhead’
I arrived in Europe towards the end of last year. People are astonished when I tell them I am from Syria. They have this image that we are all jihadis living in the desert with the camels. I have only seen one camel in my life. I am just a regular metalhead with a loud laugh and a few tattoos.
I learned my half-brother was killed in action earlier this year. He was a pro-government fighter, and died defending what he believed in. I have not spoken to that side of the family since the start of the uprising. My older brother is also in the army. We always had a difficult relationship, he would taunt me when I was a kid and blamed me for killing his mother. He texted me to say that I was a disgrace to my family and if he ever found me, he would kill me. He is so loyal that I feel for sure he would kill me if he could.
My real father died in 2014. While he still backed the government of Bashar al-Assad, he had accepted our differences. When he secured my release back at the start of all this, he told me that he was proud of me. “Your uncle has done a good job, he has ensured you a good education and you have inherited his good nature.” My father pleaded me to give it up, but knew I probably would not. He told me he was able to save me once, but if I got caught again there would be no more strings to be pulled.
Two weeks ago I underwent surgery, three years after my knee was first damaged by the shell. When I am physically fit I will go back home.
I miss home. Of course I miss home.
Tuesday 19 April 2016 10:14 UTC
– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/i-am-alawite-and-i-miss-home-918192142#sthash.EVZOLqik.dpuf
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Daily Atrocities
Syria Assad Chlorine Bombs Attack on Civilians
Syria Assad regime chlorine bombs attacked on June 7-8, 2015 on Kansafra hospital & Saraqueb nearby, his strategy was to stop Syrians to have access to health care.
Dr. Annie Sparrow @annie_sparrow Jul 3
Assad’s chlorine bomb attacks are nowhere near the front lines? They are ‘just’ used to attack civilians.
Obama said Chlorine Gas is not Chemical Weapon
Some of the recent chemical attacked by Assad regime:
May 19, 2015 Mashmashaan, Idlib
May 17, 2015 Jisr As Shughur, Idlib
May 15, 2015 Mhamshan Village, Idlib
May 15-17, 2015 Mashmashaan & Ain Al Soud, Idlib
May 7, 2015, Aljanoobiya Village, Idlib
May 7, 2015, Kafr Batikh, Idlib
May 2, 2015, Saraqeb, Idlib
April 28, 2015, Idlib
April 16, 2015, Sarmin, Idlib
Obama said “chlorine gas” is not chemical weapon”. Then why people die from the attacked every time?
Entire Family Killed by Chemical Weapons Attack on Damascus
Published on Aug 24, 2013
Video Description: Video portrays an a building inspection in which a number of families are found dead 36 hours after a chemical weapons attack which took place on Damascus suburbs on the 21st of August 2013 early morning time (presumed at 2:00am). This video was taken in the Zamalka area of the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus suburbs.
Endless chemical attacks in Syria but useless international action
Helicopters from Bashar Al-Assad’s regime attacked the Syrian village of Sarmin in Idlib province last week, dropping barrel bombs filled with chlorine gas that killed at least six people and wounded dozens more, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and pro-opposition Local Coordination Committees reported.
“There is extreme fear and panic among the people of Sarmin, combined with serious population displacement,” said Abdullah Jada’an, an activist from Idlib. “They are waiting for the international community to penalize the Syrian regime.”
Multiple sources have also claimed that residents of the southern Damascus neighbourhood of Al-Qadam were targeted on Tuesday overnight by a gas attack; the number of victims is not yet known.
These attacks came two weeks after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria; it stressed that those who use such weapons will be held accountable. The resolution, however, did not specify the perpetrators of the known chemical attacks, but promised to take action if it such attacks occur again.
Footage from the attack on Sarmin revived memories of the faces of those who were targeted in the August 2013 chemical attack on East Ghouta, near Damascus; civilians, including children, were unable to breathe and were choking to death. The world powers failed to hold the regime accountable for the attack in 2013. They did, however, strip the Assad regime of its chemical arsenal thanks to a US-Russian agreement under Article VIII of the Chemical Weapons Convention to prevent such crimes.
“I think the international community is completely ignoring what is going on in Syria,” said Samir Nashar, a Syrian opposition figure and member of the Syrian National Coalition. “Bashar Al-Assad derives his strength from [the weakness of] the international community. As such, he is using internationally prohibited weapons repeatedly.”
After obtaining reports confirming the use of chemical weapons, the UN drafted four resolutions to intervene militarily in Syria, but all four were blocked by Russia’s veto which, along with China’s, protected Assad’s grip on power in Syria. The UN failure to intervene has destroyed the hopes of many Syrians that the international community will really hold Assad and his regime accountable.
The US has had a strained relationship with Syria since 2003, when it threatened sanctions due to Assad’s development of chemical weapons; Damascus denied the American allegations. Prior to the regime’s first attack using chemical weapons, US President Barack Obama warned that a chemical weapon attack would make the US minded to intervene in Syria.
In mid-2013, Assad’s forces used Sarin gas in an area near Damascus. Obama was close to declaring a war against the Syrian regime before changing his stance after brokering a deal with Russia, Assad’s main ally.
In June 2014, a joint mission of the UN and the Netherlands-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced that the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons materials was complete. Chlorine gas was not included in the disarmament agreement, however, though it is considered to be a chemical weapon internationally. Damascus did not list chlorine on the declaration of its chemical weapons arsenal.
In response, the Syrian opposition issued a statement condemning the use of chlorine gas as part of the attack on Sarmin, calling on the UN Security Council to investigate the incident. “We call on the Security Council to send a fact-finding mission to the scene as quickly as possible and investigate the regime’s use of chlorine gas. Assad knows that he can get away with murder… Unless the UN Security Council takes enforceable measures to ensure accountability,” added opposition spokesman Salem Al-Meslet in a separate statement.
The OPCW concluded its fact-finding mission to Syria recently and announced that chlorine gas was used “systematically and repeatedly” in northern Syria. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks made it clear that he believes that the whole world must condemn the attack and indicated the need for an investigation. “The international community cannot turn a blind eye to such barbarism,” said Kerry. “The Assad regime continues to flout international standards and norms.”
According to Samir Nashar, the current priority for American foreign policy, which he thinks dictates international policy, is its discussions with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear capability. “If an agreement [with Iran] is signed by the beginning of the [next] month, I believe that major shifts will happen,” he concluded.
Chemical Chlorine gas attacked on Idlib city 29-31st, March 2015
Chemical Chlorine gas attacked on Sarmin near Idlib on March 26, 2015
Chemical Chlorine gas attacked on Binnish, Idlib on March 24, 2015
Chemical Chlorine gas attacked on Qmenas, Idlib on March 23, 2015
Chemical Chlorine gas attacked on Sarmin near Idlib on March 16, 2015
Abdulrahman Al-Masri is a freelance journalist based in Canada. His work covers politics and news in the Middle East, and Syria in particular. He analyses international politics and the crises in the region, bringing attention to the way that foreign interests influence conflicts. Follow him on twitter at @AbdulrhmanMasri.
Article published on Thursday, 26 March 2015
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 60 Minutes Telling More Lies
Charlie Rose interviews the Syrian dictator as a four-year-old civil war drags on in which his regime has been accused of devastating attacks on civilians
March 29, 2014
The following is a script from “Bashar al-Assad” which aired on March 29, 2015. Charlie Rose is the correspondent.
Four years ago, the Obama administration declared that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad must go. Today, President Assad is still there, but much of the country has gone. Assad’s Syrian government has lost control over significant amounts of its territory — to either ISIS or Syrian rebel groups. Four million Syrian refugees have fled the country. More than 200,000 have died — most from Syrian military bombing of territory controlled by his opponents.
With the rise of ISIS in Syria, toppling Assad is no longer the highest priority there for the United States. And last month, Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News, the U.S. is open to negotiating with Syria, something, we discovered, Assad wants.
We traveled to Damascus this past week and met with Assad for an interview, under the conditions that we use Syrian TV technicians and cameras. We begin by asking him about American airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
Charlie Rose: How much of a benefit are you getting from American airstrikes in Syria reducing the power of ISIS?
President Assad: Sometimes you could have local benefit but in general if you want to talk in terms of ISIS actually ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes. Not like some– American– wants to sugar coat the situation as the– to say that it’s getting better. As– ISIS is being defeated and so on. Actually, no, you have more recruits. Some estimates that they have 1,000 recruits every month in Syria. And Iraq– they are expanding in Libya and many other al Qaeda affiliate organizations have announced their allegiance to ISIS. So that’s the situation.
Charlie Rose: How much territory do they control in Syria?
President Assad: Sorry?
Charlie Rose: ISIS. Controls how much territory. 50 percent?
“…it’s not traditional war. It’s not about capturing land and gaining land. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of the Syrians. We cannot win the heart and minds of the Syrians while we are killing Syrians.”
President Assad: Yeah, it’s not regular war. We cannot– you don’t have criteria. It’s not an army that makes– it make the incursion. They go to infidels. They try to infiltrate any area when there is no army and we have– inhibitance. The question, how much incubator they have, that’s the question. How much heart and minds they won so far.
Charlie Rose: And how much of that? How do you measure that–
President Assad: You cannot measure it but you can tell that the majority of the people who suffered from ISIS, they are supporting the government and, of course, the rest of the Syrian people are afraid from ISIS and I don’t think they would– I think they lost a lot of hearts and minds.
Charlie Rose: They’ve lost a lot?
President Assad: They have lost. Except the very ideological people who have Wahhabi state of mind and ideology.
Charlie Rose: There is another number that is alarming to me. It is that 90 percent of the civilian casualties, 90 percent come from the Syrian army.
President Assad: How did you get that result?
Charlie Rose: That was a report that was issued in the last six months.
President Assad: OK. As I said earlier, the war, it’s not about– it’s not traditional war. It’s not about capturing land and gaining land. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of the Syrians. We cannot win the heart and minds of the Syrians while we are killing Syrians. We cannot sustain four years in that position as a government. And me as president, while the rest of the world, most of the world, the great powers, the regional power, are against me and my people are against me. That’s impossible. I mean this logic has no leg to stand on. So this is not realistic and this is against our interests as government is to kill the people. What do we get? What the benefit of killing the people?
Charlie Rose: Well, the argument is that you– there are weapons of war that have been used that most people look down on with great– one is chlorine gas. They believe that has been used here. They said there is evidence of that and they would like to have the right to inspect to see where it’s coming from. As you know, barrel bombs have been used. And they come from helicopters. And the only people who have helicopters is the Syrian army. And so those two acts of war, which has– society looks down on as–
President Assad: Let me fully answer this.
Charlie Rose: –barbaric acts.
President Assad: It’s very important. This is part of the malicious propaganda against Syria. First of all, the chlorine gas is not military gas. You can buy it anywhere.
Charlie Rose: But it can be weaponized–
President Assad: No, because it’s not very effective it’s not used as military gas. That’s very self-evident. Traditional arms is more important than chlorine. And if it was very effective the terrorists would have used this on a larger scale. Because it’s not effective, it’s not used very much.
Charlie Rose: Then why doesn’t somebody come in and inspect it and see whether it’s been used or not?
President Assad: Well, we– well, we– we–
Charlie Rose: You’d be–
President Assad: –we– we would–
Charlie Rose: –you’re happy for that?
President Assad: Of course. We all–we always ask a delegation, impartial delegation to come and investigate. But I mean logically and realistically it cannot be used as a military. This is part of the propaganda because, as you know, in the media when it bleeds it leads. And they always look for something that bleeds, which is the chlorine gas and the barrel bombs.
Charlie Rose: You do use barrel bombs? You’re just saying–
President Assad: No, no. There’s no such a thing called barrel bombs. We have bombs. And any bomb is about killing.
Charlie Rose: You have often spoken about the danger of a wider war in the Middle East.
President Assad: Yeah.
Charlie Rose: Can you talk about the parties involved? And characterize how you see them. Let me begin with Saudi Arabia.
President Assad: Saudi Arabia is–an (unintel) autocracy. Medieval system that’s based on the Wahhabi dark ideology. Actually, say it’s a marriage between the Wahhabi and the political system for 200 years now. That’s how we look at it.
Charlie Rose: And what is their connection to ISIS?
President Assad: The same ideology. The same background.
Charlie Rose: So ISIS and Saudi Arabia are one and the same?
President Assad: The same ideology. Yes.
Charlie Rose: Same ideology.
President Assad: I don’t– it’s Wahhabi ideology. They base the–their ideology is based on the books of the Wahhabi and Saudi Arabia.
Charlie Rose: So you believe that all Wahhabis have the same ideology as ISIS–
President Assad: Exactly. Definitely. And that’s by ISIS, by al Qaeda, by al Nusra. It’s not something we discover or we try to promote. It’s very– I mean their book– they use the same books to indoctrinate the people. The Wahhabi books-
Charlie Rose: What about Turkey?
President Assad: Turkey– let’s say it’s about Erdogan. His Muslim Brotherhood fanatics.
Charlie Rose: And you–
President Assad: It doesn’t mean that he is a member. But he’s a fanatic.
Charlie Rose: President Erdogan is–
President Assad: Is a Muslim Brotherhood fanatic. And he’s somebody who’s suffering from political megalomania. And that he thinks that he is becoming the sultan of the new era of the 21st century.
Charlie Rose: You think he could stop the border if he wanted to?
President Assad: Yeah, of course. Definitely. He doesn’t only ignore the terrorists from coming to Syria. He support them, logistically and militarily. Directly. On daily basis.
Charlie Rose: Tell us what the Russians want. They are a strong ally of you.
President Assad: Yeah.
Charlie Rose: What do they want?
President Assad: Definitely they want to have balance in the world. It’s not only about Syria. And small country. It’s not about having a huge interest in Syria, they could have it anywhere else. So, it’s about the future of the world. They want to be a great power that– have– their own say in the future of this world.
Charlie Rose: And what do they want for Syria?
President Assad: Stability. They want–
Charlie Rose: Stability.
President Assad: –stability, and political solution.
Charlie Rose: And what does Iran want?
President Assad: The same. The same. Syria, and Iran, and Russia, see eye-to-eye regarding these conflicts.
Charlie Rose: And what is your obligation to both of them?
President Assad: What do you mean obligation?
Charlie Rose: What is your– what do you owe them?
President Assad: Yeah, I know. But, they didn’t ask me for anything. Nothing at all. That’s why what I said– they don’t do that for Syria. They do it for the region, and for the world. ‘Cause stability is very important for them.
Charlie Rose: You and your father have held power in Syria for how many years?
President Assad: Is it a calculation of years?
Charlie Rose: Yes.
President Assad: Or public support?
Charlie Rose: No, years. How long–
President Assad: There’s a big difference. It doesn’t matter, how many years, the question–
Charlie Rose: Well, it does matter. I mean–
President Assad: No, what’s matter for us, do the Syrians support, these two presidents, doesn’t matter is they are father and son. We don’t say–W- George W. Bush is the son of George Bush. It’s different. He’s president, I’m president, he has support from that generation, I have support from this generation now.
“…the West, and especially the United States, don’t accept partners. They only accept followers. Even Europe is not partner of the United States. That’s to be very frank with you. So, this is their problem with Syria. They need somebody to keep saying yes.”
Charlie Rose: But the question– how do you–
President Assad: Doesn’t matter how many. It’s not– it’s not the family rule, as you want to imply.
Charlie Rose: It’s not?
President Assad: No.
Charlie Rose: Why do you think that they– people in the West, question your legitimacy?
President Assad: This intervention in Syria matters. I don’t care about it, to be frank. I never care about it. As long as I have the public support of the Syrian people. That’s my legitimacy; legitimacy comes from the inside, but why? I will tell you why. Because the West used to have puppets. Not independent leaders, or officials in any other country. And that the problem with Putin. They demonize Putin because he can say no, and he wants to be independent. Because the West, and especially the United States, don’t accept partners. They only accept followers. Even Europe is not partner of the United States. That’s to be very frank with you. So, this is their problem with Syria. They need somebody to keep saying yes. Yes– a puppet. Marionette. And so on.
Charlie Rose: What circumstances would cause you to give up power?
President Assad: When I don’t have the public support. When I don’t represent the Syrian interests, and values.
Charlie Rose: And how do you determine that?
President Assad: I have daily contact with the– with the people. How could any–
Charlie Rose: So, you’re– you determine whether they support you?
President Assad: No, no, no. I don’t determine. I sense. I feel. I’m in contact with them. I’m a human. How can a human make that expectation of the population? I mean, the war was very important lab for this support. I mean, they could have– if they don’t support you, they could have– go and support the other side. They didn’t. Why? That’s very clear. That’s very concrete.
Charlie Rose: I came here after Secretary Kerry had made his remarks. My impression once I got here is that when you heard those remarks you were optimistic. The state department backed– back a little bit, and said we still think there needs to be a new government. But you were optimistic after you heard that. You believe there is a way for your government and the American government to cooperate?
President Assad: Yeah.
Charlie Rose: And coordinate?
President Assad: That’s not the main point– after– I mean– regarding that statement. I think– I think the main point we could have feeling, and we hope that we are right, that American administration started to abandon this policy of isolation. Which is very harmful to them, and to us. Because if you isolate country, isolate yourself, as the United States, from being influential, and effective, and the course of events, unless you are talking about the negative influence, like make embargo, that could kill the people slowly. Or launching war and supporting terrorists that could kill them in a faster way. So, our impression is that we are optimistic, more optimistic, I wouldn’t exaggerate. That at least when they’re thinking about dialogue, doesn’t matter what kind of dialogue, and what the content of the dialogue. And even doesn’t matter for the real intentions. But the word dialogue is something we haven’t heard from the United States on the global level for a long time.
Charlie Rose: But you just did, from the secretary of state. We need to negotiate.
President Assad: Exactly, that’s–
Charlie Rose: That’s a dialogue.
President Assad: That’s what I said. I mean, that’s why I said it’s positive. That’s what I said, we are more optimistic. I mean, when they abandoned this policy of isolation, things should be better. I mean, when you start the dialogue things will be better.
Charlie Rose: Why don’t you reach out to Secretary Kerry and say, “Let’s talk.”
President Assad: Are they ready to talk?
Charlie Rose: Let’s talk.
President Assad: We are always open. We never close our doors. They should be ready for the talk, they should be ready for the negotiation. We didn’t make an embargo on the United States. We didn’t attack the American population. We didn’t support terrorists who did anything in United States. Actually, the United States did. We were always– we always wanted to have good relation with the United States. We never thought in the other direction. It’s a great power. Nobody– no– not a wise person think of having bad relation with United States.
Charlie Rose: Yeah, but can you have good relationship with a country that thinks you shouldn’t be in power?
President Assad: No, that’s not going to be part of the dialogue that I mentioned earlier. This is not their business. We have Syrian citizens, who can decide this. No one else. Whether they want to talk about it or not. This is not something we’re going to discuss with anyone.
Charlie Rose: This cannot end militarily. Do you agree with that?
President Assad: Yeah, definitely. Every conflict, even if it’s a war, should end with a political solution.