Syria’s Assad admits making mistakes

assad chemical attackIn an interview with SPIEGEL, Syrian President Assad continues to describe the rebels as terrorists, accuses the West of lies and maintains that he is only seeking to defend his country. The leader also admits mistakes.

In an interview to be published in the Monday issue of SPIEGEL, Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks out about inspections of his country’s chemical weapons, possible new elections and the role of Germany, the United States and Russia in his country’s crisis. He also continues to vehemently deny any role in chemical weapons attacks on civilians and the armed opposition.

“We did not use chemical weapons,” he tells the magazine. “This is a misstatement. So is the picture you paint of me as a man who kills his own people.”

He also expresses doubts about the United Nationsreport on the Aug. 21chemical weapons attack. “No one can say with certainty that rockets were used,” he says. Instead, he accuses the rebels themselves of using Sarin gas.

Addressing the chemical weapons inspections now beginning in Syria, he says: “We’re very transparent. The experts can go to every site. They are going to have all the data from our government.” Until the weapons are destroyed, they will remain “under full control,” he adds.

‘I Would Like to See Envoys from Germany’

Assad also criticizes the international community. “It seems to me that the West is more confident in al-Qaida than me,” he says. As for US President Barack Obama, he says: “The only thing he has is lies.” In contrast, he describes the Russians as “our real friends,” adding that they “understand the reality here much better.”

Assad also suggests that Germany could act as a mediator in the conflict. “I would like to see envoys from Germany come to Syria to discuss the reality,” he says.

The Syrian president also admits that his army has cooperated with Hezbollah in fighting that has taken place in areas on the border with Lebanon.

Asked if he believes a solution to the Syrian crisis could still be negotiated, he counters, “With the militants? No. Because by its very definition, a political opposition doesn’t have an army.”

Assad also raises the prospect of early elections before his term as president expires in August 2014. “I’m not in a position to say right now whether I will run or not,” he says. “If I no longer know that I have the will of the people behind me, then I will not run.”

He also concedes, “There were personal mistakes made by individuals. Every human makes mistakes. A president also makes mistakes.” One can’t just say “they did everything and we did nothing, 100 percent and zero percent,” he adds. Reality has “shades of gray.”

Finally, addressing the potential outcome of the Syrian conflict, Assad says: “We don’t have any other option than to believe in our victory.” The Syrian leader says he also doesn’t have any fears about his own well-being. “If I were afraid,” he says, “I would have left Syria a long time ago.”

Spiegel

  • The real lebanese

    “…political opposition doesn’t have an army.”

    Well Assad, they didnt until you started mowing down protesters with machine guns.

    • Peaceforleb

      Well real, they still don’t. We have had this debate in the past. Most fighting against the government are terrorist who have come from abroad. And to say they are getting their ass kicked would be an understatement. The money used to fund these animals is running dry. And the ones who are financing this pigs are exposed. Like it or not my friend, Assad is here to stay. I would rather have Assad as my neighbor as a posed to these terrorist.

      • The real lebanese

        Peace, the revolution didn’t start with extremists though.

        And talking about money running dry, how is the economy doing in Iran and Syria?

      • The real lebanese

        If you look at it, there are really 4 sides to this war. Liberal Sunnis, conservative Sunnis (who for the most part are foreign extremists), the Kurds, and the rest of the minorities who support Assad. They are all fighting each other. This isnt exact though as there are some Sunnis who support Assad, some Kurds who support iether the moderate sunnis or Assad, and some Christians who support moderate Sunnis. I think we can both agree that no sane person wants extremists taking any power in Syria.

        • Peaceforleb

          Come on real, had most of the country not supported him, he would have fallen long ago. The west was counting on the whole country to turn against him. Remember in the beginning all the predictions. Now a days the predictions have stopped. They know that every card they threw at him back fired in their faces. As for the their economy, almost 3 years of war and he is still standing.

          • The real lebanese

            The economy isnt standing. In Syria, they dont even use the Syrian currency in the towns anymore. Its all trading.

            As for Assad still standing, I can choke that up to HA and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And lets compare the weapons the Russians are sending to the regime to the ‘toys’ the rest of the world is giving the rebels, shall we?

  • The real lebanese

    “…political opposition doesn’t have an army.”

    Well Assad, they didnt until you started mowing down protesters with machine guns.

    • Peaceforleb

      Well real, they still don’t. We have had this debate in the past. Most fighting against the government are terrorist who have come from abroad. And to say they are getting their ass kicked would be an understatement. The money used to fund these animals is running dry. And the ones who are financing this pigs are exposed. Like it or not my friend, Assad is here to stay. I would rather have Assad as my neighbor as a posed to these terrorist.

      • The real lebanese

        Peace, the revolution didn’t start with extremists though.

        And talking about money running dry, how is the economy doing in Iran and Syria?

      • The real lebanese

        If you look at it, there are really 4 sides to this war. Liberal Sunnis, conservative Sunnis (who for the most part are foreign extremists), the Kurds, and the rest of the minorities who support Assad. They are all fighting each other. This isnt exact though as there are some Sunnis who support Assad, some Kurds who support iether the moderate sunnis or Assad, and some Christians who support moderate Sunnis. I think we can both agree that no sane person wants extremists taking any power in Syria.

        • Peaceforleb

          Come on real, had most of the country not supported him, he would have fallen long ago. The west was counting on the whole country to turn against him. Remember in the beginning all the predictions. Now a days the predictions have stopped. They know that every card they threw at him back fired in their faces. As for the their economy, almost 3 years of war and he is still standing.

          • The real lebanese

            The economy isnt standing. In Syria, they dont even use the Syrian currency in the towns anymore. Its all trading.

            As for Assad still standing, I can choke that up to HA and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And lets compare the weapons the Russians are sending to the regime to the ‘toys’ the rest of the world is giving the rebels, shall we?

  • 5thDrawer

    Same Delusion of three years ago … even looking out the window at the pile of rubble.

  • 5thDrawer

    Same Delusion of three years ago … even looking out the window at the pile of rubble.