Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said during a visit to Syrian soldiers in Idlib Province that the current period of time is a “play” that is written, directed, produced, and managed by the Americans. He said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he said “stars in inferior forms of art,” is the main hero in the American’s “play.” President Al-Assad said that Erdogan invaded northern Syria because the Americans told him to, and he accused Erdogan of stealing Syrian factories, wheat, oil, and land and of being a slave of the Americans. He also criticized the Kurds for putting their trust in the U.S. and other foreign powers instead of in the Syrian regime. The soldiers chanted: “With our souls and our blood we will redeem you, oh Bashar!” The video was uploaded to the Syrian Presidency’s YouTube channel on October 22, 2019.
Bashar Al-Assad: We are living through a period of time that I call a great theatrical play. This play has one single playwright, director, and producer in charge of all the details, although there are a number of actors. The play has different acts. In each period, we had to go through a new act. The playwright, director, and manager of this play is America. All the others were just actors. As is aid, in every act of the play there was a hero, but most of the time, this role was played by Erdogan. I say this because the military and political situation in northern [Syria] has changed. Erdogan was the actor. We have actors and art here in Syria. We have high forms of art here, but Erdogan stars in inferior forms of art, I am sad to say. He can no longer convince the people closest to him in Turkey and in his regime that he is sincere in anything that he does. The latest play was the one in which he said: “We’ve decided to enter Syria.” Well, he decided to enter Syria nine years ago, but he was unable to do so, because he did not receive permission [from the Americans]. Now he says: “We informed the Americans that we would enter [Syria].” Really, Erdogan? You inform the Americans? You are nothing but a slave to them. You are the one who was told by them to go in.
Soldiers: With our souls and our blood we will redeem you, oh Bashar. With our souls and our blood we will redeem you, oh Bashar. With our souls and our blood we will redeem you, oh Bashar.
Bashar Al-Assad: They told him to enter [Syria]. The American forces withdrew a few hours before, and then he entered. After that, he said: “I will not meet with the American VP and his people.” Less than an hour after that, the Turkish Presidency announced that Erdogan would meet [with Vice President Pence]. In other words, when he got the order to meet [VP Pence], he did so. The play that we are witnessing has been clear to us for a long time. What I want to say is that Erdogan is a thief who has stolen factories, plants, and what, in addition to oil in cooperation with ISIS, and now he is stealing land. If we were a family living in a house, and there was a thief on the loose in our neighborhood, what would we do? We would coordinate with one another. Unfortunately, some Syrians did not do this, especially in the first years. I used to tell them to put their trust only in the Syrian army, the Syrian people, and the Syrian homeland, and to always stand with the homeland, but all this fell on deaf ears. Some people kept putting their trust [in foreigners]. I am talking about some groups in the north. We all know who I’m talking about. In the following stage, after 2014, people stared putting their trust in the Americans, and I once again said the same things: “Don’t put your trust in the Americans, they will sell you out one day.” I said this to them both in secret and publicly. I said this in speeches and I said this in closed meetings with them, but all this fell on deaf ears. Whatever happened, happened. After all the big talk that we have heard for years – along the lines of “we will fight” and so on – the Turks occupied most of the area in four days, as was planned by the Americans.