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Al-Assad is still digging! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Turkish “Cumhuriyet” newspaper has been publishing an interview – in three parts – with the tyrant of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad. This is the second interview that al-Assad has given over the past week. The first interview was with Iranian state television, whilst today we see al-Assad giving a second in-depth interview – which is full of fallacies – with the Turkish newspaper. In this interview, there are a number of points that merit contemplation and response.

The first point is that al-Assad’s interview with the Turkish newspaper takes place following the criticism he received for his interview with Iranian state TV. This means that al-Assad wants to balance this step, whilst he also wants to play on the strings of the Turkish opposition, attempting to strengthen its contrasting position towards the Syrian revolution. The second point is that this interview unquestionably demonstrates that Bashar al-Assad is personally handling the crisis in Syria, as al-Assad’s logic, fallacies and media discourse in this interview are precisely the same as what we have witnessed since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. This includes the operations of the Syrian regime, its diplomatic and media output, and even the security crimes. Everything that al-Assad said in this interview was akin to a fallacy of a fallacy.

Al-Assad said he regrets the downing of the Turkish warplane, and that it crossed into Syrian airspace in a manner that led Damascus to believe it was an Israeli plane. He thinks he is being clever by saying that the Turks are allying with the Israelis; however in reality Israeli warplanes flew at low-altitude over al-Assad’s palace in 2006. This incident led to Moscow selling al-Assad anti-aircraft systems, however despite this the al-Assad regime failed to respond to these Israeli jets and this breach of its territory. At the time – and I heard this myself from a Russian official in Moscow – it was said that these Israeli jets could be heard from al-Assad’s bedroom! Following this, the Israelis targeted what they believed to be a nuclear reactor in Deir Ezzour, and the al-Assad regime also failed to respond in any way. The Americans later landed in Syria and kidnapped wanted terrorists from inside Syrian territory, along the Syrian – Iraqi border, and the al-Assad regime also failed to respond. Therefore, the Turkish Foreign Minister has every right to describe what al-Assad is saying about the downing of the Turkish jet as “lies”.

The fallacies do not stop here, for when al-Assad asks why Turkey has failed to take any action towards the fighting in the Gulf, what Gulf is he talking about? Does he mean Bahrain? What happened in Bahrain cannot be compared to the crimes in Syria, for the death toll there was limited, and included victims on both sides, the police and the protesters. In addition to this, what happened in Bahrain was the result of Iranian intervention, whilst what is happening in Syria – over the past 18 months – is a crime committed by al-Assad, aided by Tehran and Moscow. More importantly than this, the al-Assad regime itself viewed the confrontations in Bahrain at the time as an internal affair, so has al-Assad forgotten this, or was his regime’s position on Bahrain an attempt to buy the silence of the Gulf States regarding the crimes he is committing in Syria?

Therefore, al-Assad’s most recent interview with the Turkish newspaper reveals to us that he is in a hole, and that he is still digging, particularly as the fire is now directly approaching him. This enhances the possibility of the sudden collapse of the al-Assad regime in Syria, as the British Foreign Security warned yesterday!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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