President Asad of Syria has been under attack from the United States and other western governments for almost a decade now. Regardless of what one thinks of him, he deserves a lot of respect because in spite of the fact that Syria is a Muslim majority country and he is an Alawite Muslim himself, (a) he has been a committed protector of the Christians in Syria and (b) barring the US proxy invasion of Syria through ISIS, he has been able to keep Syria’s very diverse and contentious religious and ethnic minorities together in relative peace.
President Asad does have his legitimate critics, who have accused him and his tenure of committing various “human rights” violations. However, his reign has been something far more beneficial than detrimental for Syria, and he is certainly incomparably to anything that ISIS has done in the short time it has been in power in parts of Syria.
In a must-read interview with Agence France-Presse and the UK Daily Mail, President Asad gives his views about the Muslim “refugee” crisis in Europe. Most interestingly, he not only accuses the Western governments of engineering the crisis, but he also asks for the Syrians who “migrated” to return and if possible, for the West to help send them back. He also accuses the West, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia of funding the terrorism in Syria, even going so far as to call Turkish President Erdogan a “fanatical person” who is “living the Ottoman dream.” He also praised Russia for their “great respect” in treating Syria as a “sovereign state.”
From the UK Daily Mail:
Question 3: Mr. President, what do you say to those emigrating to Europe? Do you ask them to come back?
President Assad: I would like to ask every person who left Syria to come back. That’s natural but not enough. Emotions are not enough. They would ask: “Why should I come back? Has terrorism stopped? Have the basic requirements for life been restored?” Many of those who have emigrated are neither against the Syrian state or with the terrorists, but sometimes there are circumstances which force people to emigrate. So, my answer to this question is: when terrorism recedes, and things are better, they will return of their own volition without any invitation. So, instead of asking these people to return, I’ll call on the European governments, which have been a direct cause for the emigration of these people, by giving cover to terrorists in the beginning, and through the sanctions imposed on Syria, to help in making the Syrians return to their country.
Question 6: Can’t you say precisely how many years you need to restore peace to Syria?
President Assad: The question is: for how many years will Turkey and Saudi Arabia continue to support terrorism? That is the question. And when will the West put pressure on these countries to stop supporting terrorism?
Question 14: Mr. President, do you think that there might be a Turkish intervention in Syria now? And do you think the Saudi threats are serious?
President Assad: Logically, intervention is not possible, but sometimes reality is at odds with logic, particularly when there are irrational people leading a certain state. That’s why I don’t rule that out for a simple reason: Erdogan is a fanatical person with Muslim Brotherhood inclinations. He is living the Ottoman dream. For him, the collapse which took place in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria is something personal. This threatens his political future, on the one hand, and his fanatical Islamist ambitions, on the other. He believes that he has an Islamist mission in our region. The same applies to Saudi Arabia. The collapse of the terrorists in Syria is a collapse of their policies. I tell you that this process is surely not going to be easy for them, and we will certainly confront it.
Question 16: Is it true that the Russians tried to persuade you to step down? Don’t you fear a Russian-American deal on this issue?
President Assad: If we look at Russian policies and Russian officials in the same way we look at unprincipled Western officials and policies, this is a possibility. But the fact is the exact opposite, for a simple reason: the Russians treat us with great respect. They do not treat us as a superpower dealing with a minor state, but as a sovereign state dealing with a sovereign state. That’s why this issue has not been raised at all in any shape or form.