London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Asharq Al-Awsat was suprised by an attempt Thursday by Muhammad Habash, the head of the Syrian-Iranian committee and a member of Syrian parliament, to deny comments that he had made to Asharq Al-Awsat Wednesday, in which he said that Iran has been building listening stations in Syria.
Habash appeared on Al Arabiya television channel and denied making these comments to Asharq Al-Awsat. Asharq Al-Awsat stands by what it has published, and has already sent a copy of the recordings of Habash’s statements to Al Arabiya. The recorded statements have been broadcast on television. Habash was heard making the statements that Asharq Al-Awsat published, saying: “The existence of these stations is not a secret and Syria is doing everything within its duty to defend its territories and seeks the assistance of the appropriate military expertise. There are no secrets in this matter. It is Syria’s duty to defend itself and we are still in a state of war with Israel and must defend our borders by all possible means within the framework of international law. Therefore what Syria is doing is totally in accord with its responsibilities. Syria’s cooperation with Russia, China, and Iran is real and within the framework of protecting Syrian borders”.
Having published only a part of Habash’s statements on Al Arabiya television, Asharq Al-Awsat would like to stress that it retains the entire conversation on tape and stands by what it has published.