Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Washington on Monday to brace for retaliation if US forces attacked his country, as he categorically rejected accusing the army of using chemical weapons in Damascus.
“You’re going to pay the price if you’re not wise. There are going to be repercussions,” President Assad told CBS television. “It’s an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. You have to expect everything.”
Assad also warned of the risks of possible chemical attacks by rebels or “terrorists” if there was outside intervention in Syria.
“You should expect everything. The government’s not the only player in this region. You have different parties, different factions, different ideologies. You have everything in this decision now,” President Assad said.
Assad denied the army carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on August 21 on the outskirts of Damascus, as alleged by the United States and some of its allies.
“How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidence?” he asked in the interview, in which he spoke English.
“We’re not like the American administration, we’re not like the social media administration or government. We’re the government that deals with evidence.”
Assad noted that the Syrian army had themselves in fact been attacked by rebels using chemical arms.
“But in the area where they say the government used chemical weapons, we only have video and we only have pictures and allegations. We’re not there. Our forces, our police, our institutions don’t think this,” Assad said.
Asked whether the repercussions President Assad predicted could include the use of more chemical weapons, Assad replied: “That depends. If the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have it, it could happen. I don’t know. I’m not a fortune teller to tell you what’s going to happen.”
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The The removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power will do nothing to end the 19-month civil war in Syria but will only escalate the violence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
“It is like daydreaming to speculate on the subject, to the effect that if the [Syrian] government is overthrown everything will fall into place,” Lavrov said after a meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
“If this is a priority for somebody, bloodshed will continue, and for quite a while, too.”
“Assad’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people,” he added.
There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict as mercenaries fighting on the side of the Syrian insurgents keep arriving in the country from neighboring states, the minister noted.
Lavrov said on Monday Moscow was disappointed by the failure of a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, but there was little sense in blaming either side.
Western powers have condemned both Russia and China for their repeated refusal to back UN sanctions against Assad’s regime, which the United Nations has accused of complicity in the massacre of unarmed civilians. Russia says the UN resolutions contain a pro-rebel bias and that both sides are to blame for the continued fighting, which Syrian rights groups say has claimed up to 35,000 lives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed earlier this year not to allow a repeat of last year’s “Libya scenario,” which saw the ouster and murder of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign.
Source: RIA Novosti
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John McCain has once again urged the White House to arm Syrian rebels after a ceasefire went into effect in Syria in order to end more than one year of turmoil in the country. It is clear that McCain is not interested in a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict, that’s why he continues to advocate war.
“Over there (in Syria), they’re waiting for American leadership. We have announced that we are now providing them with non-lethal equipment — that doesn’t do very well against tanks and artillery,” said McCain who has recently returned from a trip to Turkey where he met with members of the anti-government group of Free Syrian Army.
“We need to get a sanctuary for the Free Syrian Army, we need to get them supplies, we need to get them weapons. And there are many ways to get weapons to them. We showed that in Libya, we showed that in Afghanistan,” he added.
This is not the first time McCain has called for providing Syrian rebels with weapons.
On February 23, McCain said the US “should consider every option ranging from sanctuaries to seeing that weapons are brought to the hands of those who are resisting [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad.”
On April 13, US President Barack Obama approved providing Syrian rebels with non-lethal aid, including communications equipment and medicines.
McCain’s remarks come while a ceasefire, which is part of a six-point plan proposed by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, went into effect as of April 12.
Annan said on April 11 that he had received a written pledge from the Syrian Foreign Ministry to “cease all military fighting throughout the Syrian territory.”
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on March 6 that the Syrian people have “proven their capacity to defend the nation and to build a new Syria through their determination to pursue reforms along with the fight against foreign-backed terrorism.”