Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt said in a November 9, 2020 interview on Russia Today that the investigation into the Beirut port explosion can lead nowhere because the authorities had been aware of the ammonium nitrate stockpile in the port. He said that this ammonium nitrate had been brought to Beirut by the Syrian government and had been used by the Al-Assad regime in the barrel bombs that were dropped in the battle of Homs. In addition, he expressed the view that it is not possible for the Syrian refugees to return to Syria because the Al-Assad regime deliberately banished them. Jumblatt added that Al-Assad is pleased that he got rid of "surplus population," especially Sunnis.
Interviewer: "To the best of your knowledge, where does the investigation into the Beirut port explosion – or bombing – stand?"
Walid Jumblatt: "It has not and will not lead to any result. It is impossible, because all the governments since 2014, which were in charge of Beirut port, the customs, and so on, have known about the ammonium nitrate stockpile that exploded in the Beirut port. Two days ago, I clearly stated that this ammonium nitrate had been brought to Beirut by the Syrian regime, I believe, when the war was still raging in Syria. The Beirut port was the most convenient location to bring these materials, which were used – as you know – in the barrel bombs, that were brought from Beirut to Syria during the decisive battle at Homs, which caused the separation between Latakia and Damascus.
"I don't believe anything. The ship came, and it sank in Beirut. It came from Georgia, I think. The captain disappeared or died. This is all a conspiracy theory. What's important is that the ship arrived [in Beirut] during the Syrian Civil War, while the national opposition had the upper hand in Homs. The ship was brought to Beirut in order to equip the Syrian helicopters with barrel bombs. These materials were used in the barrels to destroy the Syrian villages and cities. This is my political view, and I leave the analysis to the experts. We have plenty of them, thank God."
Interviewer: "In your opinion, what will be the fate of the Syrian refugees? People are talking about the need for them to return to their country, and about them being a big part of the economic crisis, and about the tragic conditions in which they live. How do you view the issue of the Syrian refugees?"
Jumblatt: "How will they go back, after Assad has destroyed entire villages and cities, in order to expel them to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and the West? Tell me how they would return. Does Assad even want them to return? After all, he has said that Syria has restored its natural balance, which means that the population surplus – especially the Sunnis, to be honest – have left Syria, and [as a result], the balance is now acceptable."