Walters questions Assad on brutal crackdown

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given an interview to US television in a rare attempt to defend his regime’s deadly crackdown on protests to a Western audience, ABC News said on Tuesday.

The network said veteran television personality Barbara Walters travelled to Damascus to speak to Assad, who gave his first interview to US media since he launched the nine-month-old assault which the UN says has killed 4,000 people.

ABC News said that it would air the interview Wednesday. It said Walters questioned the Syrian leader about a recent UN report that documented the killing and torture of civilians including children.

Walters also pressed Assad on his “violent crackdown on protesters, the impact of economic and travel sanctions against his country, calls for the president to step down and whether he will allow Arab League monitors and foreign press free and unrestricted access to Syria,” the network said.

Syria has come under intense international pressure as Assad tries to crush the worst threat to his family’s four-decade rule over the country.

The Arab League has threatened to impose new sanctions unless Syria lets in monitors. In a letter late on Sunday, Assad’s regime said it will allow monitors but only if conditions are met.

Syria accuses “armed terrorist groups” of fuelling the unrest, which comes amid a wave of street protests across the Arab world this year that have toppled authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Walters, 82, is known for interviews that seek to probe high-profile figures’ personal sides. She is a creator of the popular ABC News morning show “The View,” which features a panel of women hosts.

Telegraph

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15 responses to “Walters questions Assad on brutal crackdown”

  1. Amine123 Avatar

    I am not sure why ABC news interviewing a murderer and criminal. He cannot justify killing 4500 of his people to save his throne

    1. While I agree this genocidal madman does not deserve a audience, He must have one my friend. Barbara Walters is well respected throughout the US and the world for that matter. It will generate publicity not for the regime as Assad would hope, but will put the plight of the Syrian people in the living rooms at prime time in front of millions. The people need this. The world needs to hear him lie and try to justify murdering children amongst the thousands of victims killed and injured and locked up. Were building a case here to take on Iran, but just as important for the Middle East is a Syria free from this genocidal failed dentist, this madman has to go too. Barbara wont cut him any slack. If you want, Ill post the links for it when it airs.
      PS:) And the View draws a HUGE audience, this is good I promise you. My country is having a rough time, but we will still help you..

    2. lebanesesam Avatar
      lebanesesam

      I couldn’t agree more, why doesn’t that retard Barbara interview the people and what thye are going through? it is not obvious what he has to say over and over… It’s the thugs and terrorist that are killing innocent people, yeah right, what a crock of sh*t

      1. antar2011 Avatar

        it is very hard to go into syria and interview the people bro. but i agree the world already knows the scumbag he is there is really no need to do this interview other then grabbing rating for her program or channel.

    3. 5thDrawer Avatar

      She likes to get inside the minds … see what makes them tick.
      Of course, there needs to be a mind there to start with.
      Could, at least, be interesting … hmmmm

  2.  Avatar

    I am not sure why ABC news interviewing a murderer and criminal. He cannot justify killing 4500 of his people to save his throne

    1. While I agree this genocidal madman does not deserve a audience, He must have one my friend. Barbara Walters is well respected throughout the US and the world for that matter. It will generate publicity not for the regime as Assad would hope, but will put the plight of the Syrian people in the living rooms at prime time in front of millions. The people need this. The world needs to hear him lie and try to justify murdering children amongst the thousands of victims killed and injured and locked up. Were building a case here to take on Iran, but just as important for the Middle East, this madman has to go too. Barbara wont cut him any slack. If you want, Ill post the links for it when it airs.

    2.  Avatar

      I couldn’t agree more, why doesn’t that retard Barbara interview the people and what thye are going through? it is not obvious what he has to say over and over… It’s the thugs and terrorist that are killing innocent people, yeah right, what a crock of sh*t

      1.  Avatar

        it is very hard to go into syria and interview the people bro. but i agree the world already knows the scumbag he is there is really no need to do this interview other then grabbing rating for her program or channel.

    3.  Avatar

      She likes to get inside the minds … see what makes them tick.
      Of course, there needs to be a mind there to start with.
      Could, at least, be interesting … hmmmm

  3. antar2011 Avatar

    funny how he accuses some arab cable channels as being american and israeli and all he does is appear on tv that is either his govt’s made or american/british or french!

  4.  Avatar

    funny how he accuses some arab cable channels as being american and israeli and all he does is appear on tv that is either his govt’s made or american/british or french!

  5. Barbara Walters you need another face lift. While you’re in neighborhood stop by in Beirut, they have good plastic surgeons. Their charges are reasonable.    

  6.  Avatar

    Barbara Walters you need another face lift. While you’re in neighborhood stop by in Beirut, they have good plastic surgeons. Their charges are reasonable.    

  7. AN ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE

    SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD SPEAKS FOR FIRST TIME TO AMERICAN MEDIA

    SINCE UPRISING BEGAN 10 MONTHS AGO

    BARBARA WALTERS TRAVELS TO DAMASCUS, SYRIA FOR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CONTROVERSIAL WORLD LEADER

    To Air Across ABC News Platforms on Wednesday, December 7 Including “Good Morning America” and “World News”

    “Nightline” to air a Special Edition:
     ”Barbara Walters in Syria: Assad Speaks”  Devoting Full Program to
    Walters’ Report from Inside Syria

    To Run First as Part of the Newsmakers Series on ABCNews.com and Yahoo! News

    Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad sat down with ABC News Anchor Barbara Walters
    for his first exclusive on-camera interview with an American journalist
    since the uprising in Syria began last March.  Walters’
    no-holds-barred interview with President Al-Assad in Damascus comes as
    he is under unprecedented international pressure to step down and stands
    accused by the Arab League, the United Nations (UN), and human rights
    groups of gross and systematic human rights violations.

    The interview will air across ABC platforms on Wednesday, December 7, first on ABCNews.com and Yahoo! News’ Newsmakers series (6:00 am ET), then on “Good Morning America” (7:00 am ET), “The View” (11:00 am ET) and “World
    News with Diane Sawyer” (6:30 pm ET).  “Nightline”  will air a Special
    Edition:  ”Barbara Walters in Syria: Assad Speaks”  devoting full
    program to Walters’ report from inside Syria (11:35 pm ET).   Portions of the interview will also be available on ABC News Radio and ABC NewsOne.

     Walters questioned the controversial Syrian leader about the November 25th 
    UN report, which recorded the human rights violations including the
    detention and torture of children in his country, and recommended for
    Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes
    against humanity.  Walters also pressed President Al-Assad on his
    government’s violent crackdown on protestors, the impact of economic and
    travel sanctions against his country, calls for the President to step
    down, and whether he will allow Arab League monitors and foreign press
    free and unrestricted access to Syria.

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