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4 key points from President Assad’s first post-attack interview

1. Russia Did Not Have Time to Warn 

When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was asked if he had prior warning from Russia that the US was about to attack he said that he did not,

“No, they (Russia) didn’t warn us because they didn’t have the time to warn, because the Americans called them maybe a few minutes before the launching, or some say after the launching, because it takes time to reach the base. But actually, we had indications that there was something that was going to happen, and we took many measures in that regard”.

2. No Retaliation Against US Forces

Contrary to fake news reports from throughout the mainstream and alt-media, reports which were debunked exclusively in The Duran, Syria, like Russia and Iran are not planning military retaliation against US forces.

President Assad made it clear that Syria, like her allies, plans to stay the course.

“Actually, if you want to talk about retaliation, we are talking about missiles coming from hundreds of miles, which is out of our reach, but actually the real war in Syria is not about those missiles; it’s about supporting the terrorists. This is the most dangerous part of this war, and our response is going to be what we started from the very first day: is smashing the terrorists everywhere in Syria. When we get rid of the terrorists, we wouldn’t worry about anything else at that time. So, this is our response. It’s a response, not reaction”.

3. The Attack Did Little Damage To Syria’s Fighting Capability 

US Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis said that the US strikes eliminated 20% of Syria’s air force. This is a fake statistic as President Assad explained,

“I don’t know what’s the criteria, what’s the reference of 20%, what’s the hundred percent for them? Is it the number of airplanes? Is it the quality? Is it, how to say, the active airplanes and stored airplanes? I don’t know what do they mean by this. No, actually, what we and the Russians announced about a few airplanes being destroyed, most of them are the old ones, some of them were not active anyway. This is the reality, and the proof is that, since the strike, we haven’t stopped attacking terrorists all over Syria. So, we didn’t feel that we are really affected. Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn’t been affected by this strike”.

Assad continued saying that last week’s missile strike is not as cataclysmic as many observers have been led to believe,

“No, no, it’s (the attack) actually part of the context, the same context for six years; it took different shapes, but the core of the American policy and the Western policy towards what’s happening in Syria, it hasn’t changed at all. Forget about the statements; sometimes we have high-pitch statements, sometimes you have low-pitch statements, but it’s the same policy”.

4. Assad Would Still Be Willing To Work With The US Under Certain Conditions. 

President Assad said that if Donald Trump was serious about working with countries like Russia as part of an anti-terrorist coalition that he would welcome US assistance in this respect.

The Syrian President explained,

“…If they are serious in fighting terrorists, we’re going to be partners, and I said not only the United States; whoever wants to fight the terrorists, we are partners. This is basic for us, basic principle, let’s say. Actually, what has been proven recently, as I said earlier, that they are hand in glove with those terrorists, the United States and the West, they’re not serious in fighting the terrorists, and yesterday some of their statesmen were defending ISIS. They were saying that ISIS doesn’t have chemical weapons. They are defending ISIS against the Syrian government and the Syrian Army. So, actually, you cannot talk about partnership between us who work against the terrorists and who fight the terrorism and the others who are supporting explicitly the terrorists”.

Assad then offered his own assessment of Donald Trump’s apparent policy U-turn

“…I was very cautious in saying any opinion regarding him before he became President and after. I always say let’s see what he’s going to do, we wouldn’t comment on statements. So, actually, this is the first proof that it’s not about the President in the United State; it’s about the regime and the deep state or the deep regime in the United States is still the same, it doesn’t change. The President is only one of the performers on their theatre, if he wants to be a leader, he cannot, because as some say he wanted to be a leader, Trump wanted to be a leader, but every President there, if he wants to be a real leader, later he’s going to eat his words, swallow his pride if he has pride at all, and make a 180 degree U-turn, otherwise he would pay the price politically”.

Now watch Bashar al-Assad’s full English language interview

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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