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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Assad: I Won’t Quit, the People Say Who Stays and Goes, Not the US

The Syrian president said he was like the skipper of a ship in a stormy sea.
Syrian President Bashar Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Photo Credit: Clarin

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with the Argentine newspaper Clarin Saturday that he has no plans to step down before elections are held in Syria, utterly rejecting the demand by the rebels that the civil war must conclude with his departure.

Assad was described by Clarin as looking more like a business executive than a beleaguered dictator. He spoke calmly, defending the tough approach of his military offensive across Syria, and denying the veracity of the publicized body count (more than 70 thousand) in UN reports. He also denied allegations of his troops using chemical weapons like saran gas, and rejected complaints that his military, well equipped with Russian weapons, are using excessive force in the crackdown.

He said that although his government supports the international conference which will be held in Geneva in late May, between Washington and Moscow, to discuss an end to the Syrian crisis, but was skeptical about the results.

Still, Assad’s comments to Clarin were his first public discussion of his possible role in any political transition. So far, neither the Assad government nor the Syrian National Coalition have announced that they would participate in such a process.

Assad acknowledged that there is fear within his regime of a possible invasion. “It is a valid probability, especially after we have hit the armed groups in many parts of Syria and the balance of forces on the ground began to change,” he remarked. “Then these countries asked Israel to attack us, to boost the morale of the terrorist groups,” he added.

Assad wryly denied the allegations made by Israel and the United States on his use of chemical weapons in the war, and attributed their use to the rebels. “Those statements regarding chemical weapons changed daily. Chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction. They say it was used in residential areas. If I said to you that a nuclear bomb was dropped on a suburb and the balance of casualties is ten or twenty people, would you believe me? The use of chemical weapons in residential areas means killing thousands or tens of thousands of people in minutes. Who could hide such a thing?”

Assad insisted that the rebels he is facing are ultra-Islamist terrorists, seeking to overthrow his secular government, and they’re receiving aid from the West. He accuses the Americans of cooperating with Qatar and Saudi Arabia to impose an extremist regimein Syria.

Assad said he was like the skipper of a ship in a stormy sea, “the country is in a crisis and when a ship faces a storm, the captain does not flee.”

The first thing the skipper does “is face the storm and guide the ship back to safety,” Assad declared. “I am not someone who shirks his responsibilities.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “Assad: I Won’t Quit, the People Say Who Stays and Goes, Not the US”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rabbi DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    Syria ready to unleash missiles on Israel Uzi Mahnaimi, Sunday Times [UK] Tel Aviv Published: 19 May 2013 http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1261403.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2013_05_18 SYRIA has put its most advanced missiles on standby with orders to hit Tel Aviv if Israel launches another raid on its territory. Reconnaissance satellites have been monitoring preparations by the Syrian army to deploy surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles. An Israeli official told The New York Times that Israel, which has launched three recent attacks on Syria, was considering further strikes and warned President Bashar al-Assad that his government would face �crippling consequences� if he hit back at Israel.

  2. Did you know that Damascus Syria has historically remained inhabited from the time of it’s founding until today? Despite military losses it has always been populated. Yet Isaiah 17 states that God will take it away from being a city. That has not happened as of yet. If God chooses to use mans weapons of mass destruction as one of the tools to bring that about then today’s news concerning Assad should get you interested enough to take a longer look at that short chapter. In addition Iran continues determined in it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Yet here we are with the clock ticking. In July of 2012 I wrote a small book that lists some of what the Bible says will happen in the end times as well as what will happen during the period known as the seven (360 day) year tribulation and other soon to take place events. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s about 6 or 7 pages, so it’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

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