Assad: My gov't has a duty to eliminate terrorists

Syrian president tells Iranian state TV that he will not accept any solution to Syria's problems imposed from the outside.

By REUTERS
June 28, 2012 22:17
2 minute read.
Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad 370 (R). (photo credit: Sana / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

DUBAI - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a rare interview broadcast on Thursday that his government had a duty to "eliminate terrorists" to protect its people and ruled out any solution to the crisis imposed from outside the country.

The one-hour interview coincides with a marked escalation of violence inside Syria and a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of a planned meeting in Geneva in an effort to end spiraling violence.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Diplomats said the talks involving UN Security Council members and key regional countries would focus on a proposed transition plan to open the way for a unity government.

"The responsibility of the Syrian government is to protect all of our residents. You have a responsibility to eliminate terrorists in any corner of the country," Assad told Iranian state television.

"When you eliminate a terrorist, it's possible that you are saving the lives of tens, hundreds, or even thousands."

The besieged Syrian leader rejected any solution imposed from outside the country.

Click for full JPost coverage



"We will not accept any non-Syrian, non-national model, whether it comes from big countries or friendly countries. No one knows how to solve Syria's problems as well as we do."

Assad said he did not believe the crisis would result in military action in Syria, saying that what took place in Libya was "not a solution to be copied because it took Libya from one situation into a much worse one. We all now see how the Libyan people are paying the price"

Assad also criticized Syria's neighbor Turkey, relations with which have worsened following the shooting down of one of its military planes by Syrian forces last Friday.

"What we see now shows the stance of some Turkish officials but not all," he said. "The policies of the Turkish officials lead to the killing and bloodshed of the Syrian people."

While the United States and its allies have called for Assad to step aside, Iran and Russia have continued to support the Syrian leader and criticized what they say is foreign interference the country.

In recent years Iran's Shiite theocracy has strengthened its alignment with Syria's nationalist secular government to further its opposition to Israel and as a counterweight against Sunni powers in the region such as Saudi Arabia.

Western diplomats say that in recent months Tehran has boosted its support for Assad through training, weapons and communications expertise to assist Syrian forces in fighting rebel groups.

Assad was scornful of such reports that Iranian forces and fighters from Lebanon's militant Hezbollah resistance movement were helping to direct Syrian army operations.

"This is a joke that we hear many times in order to show that a rift has been created within the army and that therefore there is not an army."

The Syrian leader thanked Iran for being such a loyal friend and said Damascus would repay such loyalty.

"We are on the same front and the name of this front is being independent and making national decisions."

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Nasrallah: We're stronger than the IDF, will soon be victorious in Syria

By JULIANE HELMHOLD