Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said in an interview on Russia Today that was published on November 10, 2019, that the Syrian Army did not use chemical weapons before handing its stockpile over to the international community and that the accusations and purported evidence of rebel groups using chemical weapons that were given to them by the regime are faked. He said that many members of the White Helmets are terrorists, that the White Helmets are a PR stunt, and that they are an offshoot of the Al-Nusra Front. President Al-Assad also said that Western accusations that Syria attacks humanitarian targets and kills its own people are false and misleading narratives.
In addition, he said that the United States uses terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda as proxies in order to maintain its hegemony in the region and that Israel is also working with terrorist organizations against the Syrian government. He added that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who was recently killed by American forces, had been trained, supervised, and handled by the United States government and that his death is an attempt by America to whitewash its involvement with terrorist organizations. Al-Assad also said that the Qatari government had paid demonstrators in Syria during the Arab Spring.
To view the clip of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
"Never Ever [Has] The Syrian Army Used Chemical Weapons Before It Handed Over All Its Arsenals To The International Committee"
Bashar Al-Assad: "Never ever [has] the Syrian army used chemical weapons before it handed over all its arsenals to the international committee."
Interviewer, Afshin Rattansi: "Any truth in the rumors – arguably on your side – saying video evidence is being manipulated and that rebels were using chemical weapons via the Saudi Arabian government and chemical weapons were, indeed, used but by the so-called 'rebels'?"
"They Staged [A] Play... Not Only With The Chemical Weapons, Even With The Bombardments... Somebody Is Being A Victim, At The End Of The Shooting... He Will Stand Up And Go, Move Along"
Bashar Al-Assad: "Yes, it is on YouTube, you can see it. I mean they staged [a] play, [a] full play, where somebody played the role of a victim – in many incidents, not only with the chemical weapons, even with the bombardments. They staged a play that somebody is being a victim. At the end of the shooting [of the video], it is a normal person, he will stand up and go, move along. You can see it on YouTube. It is very clear, we can offer you these evidence.
"It is very simple, to see the same faces of those 'angels', the White Helmets, the same face of the same one in the White Helmets was a fighter with Al-Qaeda. You can see they make it very clear. The same one who is being beheading or cutting [off] heads and one of them will be eating the heart of a [Syrian] soldier. I mean this is very common to see on the Internet. The evidence... No one in this region believes the PR stunt of the White Helmets. They are an offshoot of Al-Nusra."
Afshin Rattansi: "Well, the U.K. state-mandated BBC, Amnesty International – they are alleging your government killed 11,000 people using so-called 'barrel bombs'."
"Why Didn't We Kill [Syrian Civilians]? Why Didn't They Flee To Turkey? This In Itself Refutes The Western Narrative"
Bashar Al-Assad: "No war is a good war. This is a self-evident truth. You always have victims in any war. But to talk about an army or a state – to go and kill civilians and its own people – this is not realistic for a simple reason. The war in Syria was about capturing the hearts of the people. And you cannot capture the heart of the people by bombarding them.
"There are a lot of misleading narratives in the West, just to show that the Syrian army is intentionally killing the civilians without no reason. And to show that those that they call them White Helmets, or any other hospital, which is a headquarter for the terrorists – they say that the Syrian army is only attacking humanitarian facilities in order for the civilians to suffer. Actually what happened is the opposite. Those civilians fled that area and came to the government side. Why didn't we kill them? Why didn't they flee to Turkey? This in itself refutes the Western narrative."
"The Problem With The United States – Now, They [Are] Fighting A Survival War, From Their Point Of View, They Are Losing Their Hegemony"
Afshin Rattansi: "Why would the British government, or the Obama government – because Donald Trump, arguably, may have realized what had been going on – why do you think they wanted to support Al-Qaeda and ISIS?"
Bashar Al-Assad: "The problem with the United States – now, they [are] fighting a survival war, from their point of view. They are losing their hegemony. So they wanted to fight the Russians, the Iranians, the Syrians, whoever said 'no'. Even their allies who said 'no', like the Western governments, they will fight with them. They need tools. They notice that in Iraq, it didn't work by sending the army – they lost a lot. They paid the price even inside the United States. So it is much easier for them to send a proxy. So Al-Qaeda is a proxy against the Syrian government, against the Russian government, and the Iranian government.
"How did ISIS rise suddenly in 2014 – out of nowhere, out of nothing – in Iraq and Syria, at the same time, with American armaments? It is very clear. How could they smuggle millions of barrels of oil into Turkey under the supervision of American aircraft? How? Could the Americans wanted to use them against the Syrian army?"
"Israel Is Our Enemy... It Is Very Clear There Was Correlation Between The Israeli Operations And The Terrorist Operations"
"Israel is our enemy, they occupy our land, and it is self-evident, intuitive, to be part of anything that could happen against Syria – any plan, any instigation – directly through their relations with the terrorists.
"It is very clear there was correlation between the Israeli operations and the terrorist operations."
"The Whole [Baghdadi] Story Was About Whitewashing The American Hand From Being Handing Over The Terrorists"
Afshin Rattansi: "Is it your understanding, going on from what you have just said, that Al-Baghdadi is essentially trained by the United States, under torture in the Abu Ghuraib prison in Iraq?"
Bashar Al-Assad: "Yes. He was in their prisons, under their supervision. The Americans were the ones who released Al-Baghdadi. They wouldn't release him without any role and suddenly Baghdadi became the Caliph of the Muslims in the world, as he assigned himself. He was prepared by the Americans to play that role and we don't believe this recent story of killing him. Maybe he is killed, but it is not about what they mentioned. The whole story was about whitewashing the American hand from being handing over the terrorists.
"Maybe they wanted to change the whole name of ISIS into another name to bring ISIS as a moderate organization, to be used again in the market against the Syrian government?"
Afshin Rattansi: "I'll get on, I don't know how the media will react to that... But of course, the Trump organization thanked your government when it came to the assassination of Al-Baghdadi..."
Bashar Al-Assad: "We are not part of any operation."
Afshin Rattansi: "You are not in a dialogue with Donald Trump?"
Bashar Al-Assad: "Not at all. There is no relation between any institution in Syria and any institution in the United States.
"The problems started when the money of Qatar came into Syria and we had contact with many of the laborers and told them: 'Why don't you come to your workshop?' and they said: 'In one hour, as we take in one week.' It was very simple. They paid them $50 at the very beginning, then later $100 a week, which was enough for him to live without work, so it was much easier for him to join the demonstrations. After that it was much easier for them to take them towards having armaments and shooting."