Trancripts of the interview: President al-Assad to France 2 TV: “France was a spearhead in supporting terrorism”
Apr 20, 2015, Al Masdar News
Question 1: Good evening, Mr. President, I’d like to start straight forward. For most French, you are in a very large part responsible for the chaos going on in Syria, because of the brutality of the repression during the last four years. According to you, what is your part of responsibility?
President Assad: Actually, since the first few weeks of the conflict, the terrorists infiltrated the situation in Syria with the support of Western countries and regional countries, and they started attacking the civilians and destroying public places, public properties and private properties, and that’s documented on the internet, by them, not by us. So, our role as government is to defend our society and our citizens. If you want to say what you said is correct after four years, how could a government or president that’s been brutal with his population, killing them, and with the support from the other side of the greatest countries and political powers in the world, with the petrodollars in our region… how could he withstand for four years? Is it possible to have the support of your public while you are brutal with your public?
Question 2: In the beginning, there were tens of thousands of people in the street. Were they all jihadists?
President Assad: No, definitely not. But the other question is, if in the sixth day of the conflict, the first Syrian policeman was killed… how? By the peaceful demonstration? By the audio waves of the demonstrators? How? He’s been killed by terrorists. Somebody who took a gun and shot that policeman, so he’s a terrorist. It doesn’t matter if he’s a jihadist or not, because he killed a policeman.
Question 3: There were perhaps jihadists or terrorists, but our reporters were there at the beginning and they met a lot of people saying “we want more freedom, more democracy.” They weren’t terrorists or jihadists.
President Assad: Definitely, everybody has the right to ask for his freedom, and every government should support freedom, of course, under the constitution. But does freedom mean to kill the civilians, to kill policemen, to destroy the schools, the hospitals, the electricity, the infrastructure? That’s not owned by the government; it’s owned by the Syrian people. It’s not owned by us, it’s not owned by me. Is that the freedom that you’re talking about?