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Assad in Deep Water! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In his latest interview with Agence France-Presse, Syria’s longtime despot Bashar al-Assad could not hide away how worn out and exhausted he had become. However, what is more important is not how wearied Assad looked but rather the content of that interview.

Assad showed that his strategy remained the same and that he still believed that lies were part and parcel of politics and diplomacy. Insincerity has been practiced by Assad ever since he took reins over Syria in year 2000.

Throughout Syria’s modern political history, whether it be when Iraq-Syria relations were suspended, when Lebanon’s prime minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated, or when leaving Arab-Syrian relations in disarray, Assad can be spotted being to some extent twisting the truth. The same goes for any statement he has given during the six-year fight against Syrians.

Assad said that the alleged poison gas attack blamed on his regime in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province was “100 percent fabrication” used to justify a US air strike.

“Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists,” Assad said in the interview.

The Damascus-based miscreant continued casting doubts over his regime’s culpability, adding that if there was any substance to the allegations of the sarin gassing then “who committed the attack?” “No order was issued for any attack,” he argued.

“Syria’s military had given up all its chemical weapons in 2013 after an agreement made at the time, and would not have used them anyway,” Assad was quoted as saying.

Whoever believes any of Assad’s statements is most certainly delusional with no grasp of reality, or a regime ally who sees the Syria crisis a matter of life or death.

A question worth asking is why did Assad hand over his chemical arsenal in 2013, heeding Russian demands?

First of all, Assad’s regime definitely did not relinquish its chemical weapons– It is rather simple and clear, Assad used those weapons against the Syrians in 2013, and had nothing to stop him from using them again.

The bloodthirsty dictator’s lie has been exposed, sinking his number one backer, Russia –Assad’s international guarantor – an inch deeper into the Syria muddle.

It is obvious that Assad couldn’t care less about what the Russians think of him, they too believe that deceit comes with the job of politics. Russian President Vladimir Putin had said a few days earlier that he received information on provocative activity south of Damascus, and linked it to the US newfangled interference.

Assad rode Putin’s wave, using a derivative of his statements to promote his side of the story. What Assad failed to understand was that Putin was referring to recent attacks and not the Khan Sheikhoun US response with 59 tomahawk missiles targeting the same airbase from which the chemical attack was allegedly launched.

Matter of fact is that Assad not only is detached from reality, but also is in inescapable trouble. He now senses how dangerous the situation has become—out of breath, Assad runs back and forth to endorse and spread unbelievable lies. All it took was 59 Tomahawk missiles to leave Assad mind boggled in a catch 22.

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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