There have been
accusations from the US and the Europeans about the use of
chemical weapons, and there was an attack after that.
What is your response to
that? Was there a chemical attack? Were you responsible for it?
First of all, we don't have a chemical arsenal since we gave it
up in 2013, and the international agency for chemical weapons
conducted investigations about this, and it's clear or
documented that we don't have any.
Second, even if we
did have, we wouldn't use them, for many different reasons. But
let's put these two points aside, let's presume that this army
has chemical weapons and it's in the middle of the war; where
should it be used? At the end of the battle?
They should use it
somewhere in the middle, or where the terrorists made an
advancement, not where the army finished the battle and the
terrorists gave up and said,
"We are ready to
leave the area," and the army is fully in control of that
So the Western
narrative started after the victory of the Syrian Army, not
When we finished the
war, they said,
Second, the use of
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in a crammed area with a
population like Douma - the supposed area, it's called Douma and
they talk about 45 victims - when you use WMD in such an area,
you should have hundreds or maybe thousands of victims.
Third, why do all the
chemical weapons - the presumed or supposed chemical weapons -
only kill children and women? They don't kill militants.
If you look at the
videos, it's completely fake.
I mean, when you have
chemical weapons, how could the doctors and nurses be safe,
dealing with the chemical atmosphere without any protective
clothes, without anything, just throwing water at the victims,
and the victims become OK just because you washed them with
So, it's a farce,
it's a play, it's a very primitive play, just to
attack the Syrian Army, because... Why?
That's the most
terrorists lost, the US, France, the UK and their other
allies who want to destabilize Syria lost one of their main
cards, and that's why they had to attack the Syrian Army,
just to raise the morale of the terrorists and to prevent
the Syrian Army from liberating more areas in Syria.
Are you saying that there
was a chemical attack and someone else is responsible, or that
there was nothing there?
That's the question, because the side who said - allegedly -
that there was a chemical attack, had to prove that there was an
We have two
terrorists had chemical weapons and they used them
intentionally, or maybe there were explosions or something,
or there was no attack at all, because in all the
investigations in Douma, people said,
have any chemical attack, we didn't see any chemical gas
or smell any," and so on.
So, we don't have any
indications about what happened.
The Western narrative
is about that, so that question should be directed at the
Western officials who said there was an attack. We should ask
Where is your
concrete evidence about what happened?
They only talk about
Reports could be
allegations. Videos by the White Helmets - the
White Helmets are funded by the
British Foreign Office - and so on.
In a tweet, US President
Donald Trump described you as "animal Assad." What is your
Actually, when you are president of a country, you have first of
all to represent the morals of your people before representing
your own morals. You are representing your country.
Does this language
represent the American culture? That is the question. This is
very bad, and I don't think so.
I don't think there's
a community in the world that has such language. Second, the
good thing about Trump is that he expresses himself in a very
transparent way, which is very good in that regard.
Personally, I don't
care, because I deal with the situation as a politician, as a
It doesn't matter for
me personally; what matters is whether something would affect
me, would affect my country, our war, the terrorists, and the
atmosphere that we are living in.
He said "mission
accomplished in Syria." How do you feel about that?
I think maybe the only mission accomplished was when they helped
ISIS escape from Raqqa, when they helped them, and it was proven
by video, and under their cover.
The leaders of ISIS
escaped Raqqa, going toward Deir ez-Zor just to fight the Syrian
The other mission
accomplished was when they attacked the Syrian Army at the end
of 2016 in the area of Deir ez-Zor when ISIS was surrounding
Deir ez-Zor, and the only force was the Syrian Army.
The only force to
defend that city from ISIS was the Syrian Army, and because of
the Americans' - and of course their allies' - attack, Deir
ez-Zor was on the brink of falling into the hands of ISIS.
So, this is the only
mission that was accomplished. If he's talking about destroying
Syria, of course that's another mission accomplished.
While if you talk
about fighting terrorism, we all know very clearly that the only
mission the United States has been carrying out in Syria is
supporting the terrorists, regardless of their names, or the
names of their factions.
He also used such language
with the North Korean leader, and now they're going to meet.
Could you potentially see yourself meeting with Trump? What
would you tell him if you saw him face to face?
The first question you should ask is:
What can you
What can we
achieve with someone who says something before the campaign,
and does the opposite after the campaign, who says something
today, and does the opposite tomorrow, or maybe in the same
So, it's about
Do they have the same
frequency every day, or the same algorithm? So, I don't think
that in the meantime we can achieve anything with such an
A further reason is
that we don't think the president of that regime is in control.
We all believe that
the Deep State, the real state,
is in control, or is in control of every president, and that is
It has always been so
the United States, at least
during the last 40 years, at least since Nixon, maybe before,
but it's becoming starker and starker, and the starkest case is
When will you accomplish
your mission, given the situation here in Syria now?
I have always said, without any interference, it will take less
than a year to regain stability in Syria; I have no doubt about
The other factor is
how much support the terrorists receive, which is something I
cannot tell you, because I cannot predict the future.
But as long as it
continues, time is not the main factor. The main factor is that
someday, we're going to end this conflict and we're going to
reunify Syria under the control of the government.
When? I cannot say. I
hope it's going to be soon.
There has been some
criticism lately, because you apparently have a law that says
that anybody who doesn't claim their property within a month
cannot come back. Is that a way to exclude some of the people
who disagree with you?
No, we cannot dispossess anyone of their property by any law,
because the constitution is very clear about the ownership of
any Syrian citizen. This could be about the procedure.
It's not the first
time we have had such a law just to replan the destroyed and the
illegal areas, because you're dealing with a mixture of
destroyed and illegal suburbs in different parts of Syria.
So, this law is not
about dispossessing anyone. You cannot, I mean even if he's a
terrorist. Let's say, if you want to dispossess someone, you
need a verdict by the judicial system - you cannot make it
happen by law.
So, there's either
misinterpretation of that law, or an intention, let's say, to
create a new narrative about the Syrian government in order to
rekindle the fire of public opinion in the West against the
But about the law,
even if you want a procedure, it's about the local
administration, it's about the elected body in different areas,
to implement that law, not the government.
It is clear that your
biggest allies in this fight are Russia and Iran. Are you
worried they might play too important a role in the future of
the country after this war is over?
If you talk about my allies as a president, they are the Syrian
people. If you talk about Syria's allies, of course they're
the Iranians and
They are our
strongest allies, and of course
China that supported us
politically in the Security Council. As for them playing an
important role in the future of the country, these countries
respect Syria's sovereignty and national decision making and
provide support to insure them.
Iran and Russia are
the countries which respect Syria's sovereignty the most.
It's been a few years
since you visited Greece. Your father had a very close relation
with some of the Greek political leaders. How have the relations
been between Greece and Syria these days, and what kind of
message would you like to send to the Greek people?
At the moment, there are no formal relations between Syria and
Greece; the embassies are closed, so there are no relations. At
the same time, Greece wasn't aggressive towards what happened in
It always supported a
political solution, it never supported war or attacks against
You didn't play any
role to support the terrorists, but at the same time, as a
member - and an important member - of the EU, you couldn't play
any role, let's say, in refraining the other countries from
supporting the terrorists, violating the international law by
attacking and besieging a sovereign country without any reason,
without any mandate by the Security Council.
So, we appreciate
that Greece wasn't aggressive, but at the same time, I think
Greece has to play that role, because it's part of our region.
It is part of the EU
geographically, but it's a bridge between our region and the
rest of Europe, and it's going to be affected, and it has been
affected by the refugee situation, and terrorism now has been
affecting Europe for the last few years, and Greece is part of
So, I think it's
normal for Greece to start to play its role in the EU in order
to solve the problem in Syria and protect the international law.
How about Turkey? Turkey
invaded part of your country. You used to have a pretty good
relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. How is that
relationship now after the Turkish invasion?
First of all, this is an aggression, this is an occupation. Any
single Turkish soldier on Syrian soil represents occupation.
That doesn't mean the
Turkish people are our enemies. Only a few days ago, a political
delegation visited from Turkey. We have to distinguish between
the Turks in general and Erdogan.
Erdogan is affiliated
Maybe he's not
organized, but his affiliation is toward that ideology, I call
it this dark ideology. And for him, because, like the West, when
the terrorists lost control of different areas, and actually
they couldn't implement the agenda of Turkey or the West or
Qatar or Saudi Arabia, somebody had to interfere.
This is where the
West interfered through the recent attacks on Syria, and this is
where Erdogan was assigned by the West, mainly the United
States, to interfere, to make the situation complicated, again
because without this interference, the situation would have been
resolved much faster.
So, it's not about
The core issue of the
Muslim Brotherhood anywhere in the world is to use Islam in
order to take control of the government in your country, and to
create multiple governments with this kind of relationship, like
a network of Muslim Brotherhoods, around the world.
At an election campaign
rally this week, he said that he's going to order another
incursion into Syria. How are you going to respond to that if it
Actually, Erdogan has supported the terrorists since the very
beginning of the war, but at that time, he could hide behind
Syrian people," "supporting the Syrian people," "supporting
the refugees," "we are against the killing," and so on.
He was able to appear
as a humanitarian president, let's say.
Now, because of these
circumstances, he has to take off the mask and show himself as
the aggressor, and this is the good thing.
So, there is no big
difference between the head of the Turkish regime sending his
troops to Syria and supporting the terrorists; this is his
proxy. We've been fighting his army for seven years. The
difference between now and then is the appearance; the core is
At that time, we
couldn't talk about occupation - we could talk about supporting
terrorists - but this time we can talk about occupation, which
is the announcement of Erdogan that he's now violating the
international law, and this could be the good part of him
But how can you respond to
First of all, we are fighting the terrorists, and as I said, the
terrorists for us are his army, they are the American army, the
Forget about the
different factions and who is going to finance those factions;
at the end of the day, they work for one agenda, and those
different players obey one master:
Erdogan is not
implementing his own agenda; he's only implementing the American
agenda, and the same goes for the other countries in this war.
So, first of all, you
have to fight the terrorists.
Second, when you take
control of more areas, you have to fight any aggressor, any
army. The Turkish, French, whoever, they are all enemies; as
long as they came to Syria illegally, they are our enemies.
Are you worried about a third world war starting here in Syria?
I mean, you have the Israelis hitting the Iranians here in your
own country. You have the Russians, you have the Americans. Are
you concerned about that possibility?
No, for one reason:
fortunately, you have
a wise leadership in
Russia, and they know that the agenda of
the Deep State in the
United States is to create a conflict.
campaign, the main agenda was against Russia, create a conflict
with Russia, humiliate Russia, undermine Russia, and so on.
And we're still in
the same process under different titles or by different means.
Because of the wisdom of the Russians, we can avoid this.
Maybe it's not a
full-blown third world war, but it is a world war, maybe in a
different way, not like the second and the first, maybe it's not
nuclear, but it's definitely not a cold war; it's something more
than a cold war, less than a full-blown war.
And I hope we don't
see any direct conflict between these superpowers, because that
is where things are going to get out of control for the rest of
Now, there's a very
important question about whether Syria can be a unified, fully
sovereign country again. Is that really possible after all that
It depends on what the criteria of being unified or not is.
The main factor to
have a unified country is to have unification in the minds of
the people, and vice versa. When those people look at each other
as foreigners, they cannot live with each other, and that is
where you're going to have division.
Now, let's talk about
facts and reality - not my opinion - I can tell you no, it's not
going to be divided, and of course we're not going to accept
that, but it's not about my will or about my rhetoric, to say
we're going to be unified; it's about the reality.
The reality, now, if you look at Syria during the crisis, not
only today, since the very beginning, you see all the different
spectrums of the Syrian society living with each other, and
better than before.
are better than before, maybe because of the effect of the war.
If you look at the areas under the control of the terrorists,
this is where you can see one color of the Syrian society, which
is a very, very, very narrow color.
If you want to talk
about division, you have to see the line, the separation line
between either ethnicities or sects or religions, something you
So, in reality,
there's no division till this moment; you only have areas under
the control of the terrorists.
But what led to that
speculation? Because the United States is doing its utmost to
give that control, especially now in the eastern part of Syria,
to those terrorists in order to give the impression that Syria
cannot be unified again.
But it's going to be
unified; I don't have any doubt about that.
But why would the US do
that if you're fighting the same enemy: Islamic terrorism?
Because the US usually has an agenda and it has goals. If it
cannot achieve its goals, it resorts to something different,
which is to create chaos.
Create chaos until
the whole atmosphere changes, maybe because the different
parties will give up, and they will give in to their goals, and
this is where they can implement their goals again, or maybe
they change their goals, but if they cannot achieve it, it's
better to weaken every party and create conflict, and this is
not unique to Syria.
This has been their
policy for decades now in every area of this world.
Looking back, do you feel
you've made any mistakes in dealing with this crisis and the
civil war, when it started?
If I don't make mistakes, I'm not human; maybe on a daily basis
The more you work,
the more complicate the situation, the more mistakes you are
likely to make. But how do you protect yourself as much as
possible from committing mistakes?
First of all, you
consult the largest proportion of the people, not only the
institutions, including the parliament, syndicates, and so on,
but also the largest number of people, or the largest part of
society, to participate in every decision.
While if you talk about the way I behaved toward, or the way I
led, let's say, the government or the state during the war, the
main pillars of the state's policy were to fight terrorism - and
I don't think that fighting terrorism was wrong, to respond to
the political initiatives from different parties externally and
internally regardless of their intentions, to make a dialogue
with everyone - including the militants, and finally to make
So, about the pillars
of our policy, I think the reality has proven that we were
right. As for the details, of course, you always have mistakes.
How much is it going to
cost to reconstruct this country, and who is going to pay for
Hundreds of billions, the minimum is 200 billion, and according
to some estimates it's about 400 billion dollars.
Why is it not
precise? Because some areas are still under the control of the
terrorists, so we couldn't estimate precisely what the figure
So, this is plus or
minus, let's say.
There has been a lot of
speculation. For example, people say in order for a political
solution to be viable, you might have to sacrifice yourself for
the good of the country. Is that something that has crossed your
The main part of my future, as a politician, is two things:
my will and the
will of the Syrian people.
Of course, the will
of the Syrian people is more important than my will, my desire
to be in that position or to help my country or to play a
political role, because if I have that desire and will and I
don't have the public support, I can do nothing.
After seven years of
me being in that position, if I don't have the majority of the
Syrian people's support,
How could I hold
it for more than seven years now, with all this animosity
from the strongest and the richest countries?
Who supports me?
If the Syrian
people are against me, how can I stay?
So, when I feel that
the Syrian people do not want me to stay anymore, of course I
have to leave without any hesitation.
A lot of blood has been
spilt. Can you see yourself sitting across from the opposition
and sharing power in some way?
When you talk about blood, you have to talk about who spilt that
I was president
before the war for 10 years. Had I been killing the Syrian
people for 10 years? No, definitely not. So, the conflict
started because somebody, first of all part of the West,
supported those terrorists, and they bear the responsibility for
So first of all the
West, who provided military and financial support and political
cover, and who stood against the Syrian people, who impoverished
the Syrian people and created a better atmosphere for the
terrorists to kill more Syrian people.
So, part of the West,
mainly France, UK, and US, and also Saudi Arabia and Qatar and
Turkey are responsible for this part.
Of course blood has
been spilt - it's a war - but who's responsible? Those who are
responsible should be held accountable.