On March 16, 2023, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) published an interview given by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to the Sputnik News Agency (Russia). President Al-Assad said that the BRICS countries have begun distancing themselves from the U.S. and the Western "bloc" and that when an alternative to the U.S. dollar becomes available, the U.S. will no longer be able to control other countries' economies. He also said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his "army of Nazis," and the Islamist terrorists in the region are fighting "on behalf" of the West, and he claimed that the U.S. bases in Syria house terrorists which are deployed against Syrian regime forces. In addition, he said that Russia would be better able to "defend" itself if it expanded its military presence in Syria, and he explained that Russian bases in Syria should house advanced weapons, such as hypersonic missiles, in order to create deterrence and establish a global balance of power.
Bashar Al-Assad: "The BRICS and other countries have begun to distance themselves from the U.S.. They started to lose trust in the United States, and feel that the U.S. endangers global stability. When I say the United States, I mean also the Western bloc that supports it politically. Another thing is that the American fleets around the world serve one thing and one thing only. All the wars they wage have one goal — the U.S. dollar. So when there is an economic alliance that will offer an alternative to the dollar for any interested country, the U.S. will not be able to control the economies of nations and countries. That is when these wars will come to an end.
"Zelensky and his army of Nazis are waging a war on behalf of the West. The same thing applies to the [Islamist] terrorists. They constitute armies that fight on behalf of the West, in Syria and elsewhere.
"Al-Tanf is an entire [American] camp designated for terrorists. It has no other purpose. How does the U.S. benefit from its presence there, in the middle of the desert? It doesn't. It has camps of terrorists, where there are tens of thousands of [terrorists] with their families, and from time to time, it sends them to attack the Syrian army, in order to disperse the Syrian units. We are certain of this thing. It is happening on the ground."
Interviewer: "Do you have information about militants being dispatched from there to Ukraine?"
Al-Assad: "We do not have proof, but this is to be expected. The U.S. transfers terrorists from one place to the other.
"Our approach to the [Russian] military bases [in Syria] should not be confined to the war on terrorism. The war on terrorism exists now, but it is temporary. The Russian military presence in any country cannot be founded on something that is temporary. We are talking about international balance. The importance of the Russian presence in Syria has to do with the international balance of power. Syria is located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, no superpower can defend itself or fulfill its role from within its borders. It must play its role from outside its borders, by means of its allies in the world and by means of its military bases.
"We assume that if there is a Russian desire to expand those bases, or to increase their numbers — this is a technical, logistical matter... If there is such a desire, it comes within his context. We believe that the expansion of the Russian role in Syria is a good thing that benefits this concept. If this expansion takes place in other countries, in other areas, it will serve the same concept. So we say that yes, such a thing may be necessary in the future."
Interviewer: "With regard to hypersonic weapons — do you think they can be deployed in Syria, I the form of Russian ships equipped with Zircon missiles, for example?"
Al-Assad: "The type of weapon may differ, but the principle remains the same. When you build military bases, your goal is not for these bases to be militarily weak. One assumes that in order for these bases to create deterrence or balance, the best weapons should be deployed there. This is only natural and logical, whether we are talking about hypersonic missiles or any other type of more advanced weapons, now or in the future. Absolutely."