‘America brings instability wherever it goes’
Qatar’s former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, spilled the beans on Syria this week.
Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 as Foreign Minister, confessed the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria in television interview the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.
Now that the truth is out but the damage is done. Scores of regional countries led by Americans let lose an army of mercenaries on Syria. For 15 years they mercilessly killed humans, distorted a noble religion and plundered and looted a country which has been a cradle of civilisation for at least 10,000 years.
As the war in Syria is slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilising Syria. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.
Trans Asia News spoke to Dr. Riad Abbas, Ambassador of Syrian Arab Republic to India on topics ranging from ongoing Astana negotiations to future American role and the reconstruction of the war ravaged country.
Trans Asia News: What is the significance of the revelations made by former Qatari Premier Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani about Syrian war this week?
Dr Riad Abbas: Qatar’s former Premier Hamad bin Jassim has finally admitted that his country supported terrorism in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon and all Arab countries at the behest of America. This confirms that United States is behind all terrorist operations in the world and we have documents proving that.
Trans Asia News: Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was “coming to an end.” He said this while we are witnessing rapid decline of both Daesh and foreign support for the so-called rebels. Why do you think US believes it to be so?
Dr Riad Abbas: This was the dream of the American administration and their wishful thinking from the beginning. But as a democratic country we allow them to dream and express what they want to.
Because we are a sovereign country we do not take statements about our internal affairs by outsiders into consideration.
Before Mr. Tillerson, many like him, Sarkozy, Obama and the Emir of Qatar said similar things but can you tell me where are they now? As long as Syrian people want Mr Bashar al Assad to remain as their president he will remain so. As Syrian ambassador to India let me predict that the US President Donald Trump’s eviction will be quicker than expected due to his crazy policies.
Trans Asia News: The US and its allies are celebrating what they call the liberation of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of Daesh. Why is Damascus not happy with this success?
Dr Riad Abbas: They celebrate erasing of of Al-Raqqa city from the map with its inhabitants. After all their campaign led to the killing of more than 100,000 civilians. Thousands of Arab and foreign prisoners and hostages in ISIS prisons were killed in American bombardment. Now they proclaim freedom of Al-Raqqa from its inhabitants and deletion of its existence. So how can Damascus be happy for destruction of a Syrian city.
Trans Asia News: The last battle in the east will soon leave the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces face to face with Syrian army and its allies. How do you see the scenario building?
Dr Riad Abbas: The Syrian army will not allow any presence of illegal armed groups on the Syrian soil or any parties supported by outsiders. The Syrian army has its priorities and the most important priority is the elimination of terrorists.
As far as so-called Syrian Democratic Forces are concerned, they are first Syrian citizens and we will preserve their rights. But if they do not accept negotiations the Syrian government will take steps under Syrian law to impose its authority over all Syrian territories.
Trans Asia News: There is talk of a Moscow-backed congress of all Syrian groups in Russia next month where it is said a new constitution for the country may be adopted. How much support does this initiative have from Syrian people and the government in Damascus?
Dr Riad Abbas: The war was decided in Syria in favor of the Syrian Government and its people and all the enemies of legitimate government led by President Bashar al-Assad returned to Syria after seven years of wilderness. What was called the Syrian opposition failed to implement America’s orders to overthrow the Syrian government and the their situation is now in limbo.
Some of them cannot return to Syria because they betrayed their country and people by inviting external intervention in the country’s internal affairs and they cannot also continue to live where they live because they are failed agents whose utility is over.
The opposition inside Syria can discuss anything with the Syrian government that will cooperate with it to draft a new constitution and conduct new elections in Syria without any external interference. There is always a difference between the opposition and the agents.
Trans Asia News: Astana talks unlike UN brokered Geneva talks have moved ahead and shown results on the ground as well. But many critics think Astana talks lack a political framework so they want more regional countries should be invited to join. Will Damascus accept role of other countries like Saudi Arabia and the US in these talks or for that matter in shaping the future of Syria?
Dr Riad Abbas: Syria welcomes any country to play a role in ending the Syrian crisis. But such countries have to respect Syrian sovereignty and stick to policy of non-interference. Regarding the participation of the United States in the process of any solution will be through consultation and coordination with our allies who are fighting terrorism shoulder to shoulder with us.Moreover United States represents all the stooges that carry out its orders like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and likes.
Trans Asia News: With war nearing its end the reconstruction of Syria whets the appetite of international powers. Many countries who either were on opposite side or remained silent when Syria was being ripped apart have declared their readiness to participate in the effort. In fact, several EU countries have already started sending diplomats back to Damascus. How would Syrian government respond to such advances?
Dr Riad Abbas: Whoever participated in the destruction of Syria and shedding the blood of its people has no place in the reconstruction programme. Priority will be given to India and other BRICS members. New Syria will be built by its children.
Trans Asia News: US government recently asked Hashd al Shabi, a major force behind defeat of terrorism in Iraq to quit and go home. Likewise some opposition groups backed by the West want Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and allied militias to leave Syria. How does Damascus government view their presence in Syria?
Dr Riad Abbas: The Russian forces and Iranian experts came after a formal request from the Syrian government and that is the absolute right of the Syrian Government allowed by the country’s constitution. On the other hand America backed terrorist allies such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIS and Mohammed al-Julani of al-Qaeda came to Syria under the protection of US aircrafts. When they were surrounded by the Syrian army these American aircraft evacuated them and transported them to Afghanistan and Myanmar and to the Sinai Peninsula and Libya.This army of terrorist mercenaries is led directly by the US against the sovereign states which do not revolve around the orbit of its policy and it is a farce when we say that America talks and no one listens. America has pushed all the countries into Syrian quagmire and inflicted on them political and financial costs which these countries will have to repay for years. America brings instability wherever it goes as it does not have friends it cares about but only interests.
Trans Asia News: This week Human Rights Watch accused Syrian government of having disappeared, detained, and kidnapped tens of thousands. It alleged that even before the war began, Syrian authorities detained and disappeared people who peacefully opposed the government. What is your take on that?
Dr Riad Abbas: This US based organization has been biased against Syria and nobody buys such lies. Every Syrian citizen who violates law is dealt with according to the law of the land and his/her family is informed. No citizen is kidnapped or disappeared. We do not follow US practices. We do not have Guantanamo Bays in Syria. How were people brought there? Did they swim to Guantanamo? They were kidnapped by US forces and lodged there. What about Abu Ghraib prison scandals in Iraq? Why Human Rights Watch did not release reports on these issues.
Trans Asia News: There are millions of Syrian refugees scattered around the world. Does your government have a blue print for their return? If yes can you share some details with us?
Dr Riad Abbas: The Syrian government is open to all Syrians who want to return and is ready to provide all help and facilities for their return to their homeland.
But certainly we will not lay the red carpet for those who betrayed their country. Any one who wants to return to Syria knows the way very well.
Trans Asia News: How deep is the understanding in India of the Syrian crisis and is their any appetite in Indian government to play a role in ending the war in Syria?
Dr Riad Abbas: We thank Indian Government for its principled position towards the Syrian crisis. By calling for a political solution to the Syrian crisis through dialogue between Syrians and the rejection of any external interference in the Syrian internal affairs is a principled position which we respect. We also appreciate their stand that to realise the aspirations of Syrian people for reforms be achieved peaceful means be adopted.