President Bashar al-Assad stressed that killing civilians is terrorism, regardless of the political views of those killed, noting that the events in France brought European policies to account.
“When you talk about terrorism, about killing civilians, and regardless of the political position, agreement or disagreement with the people who have been killed, this is a case of terrorism,” said the President in response to a question about the recent events in France in an interview with the Czech newspaper Literarni noviny due to be
“We are against killing innocent people anywhere in the world…This is our principle,” said the President.
He made it clear that Syria is “one of the countries which best understand this issue because we have been suffering from terrorism for the past four years and we lost thousands of innocent lives in Syria.”
“That’s why,” he added, “we sympathize with the families of those victims.”
“At the same time, we want to remind many people in the West that we have been talking about these repercussions since the beginning of the crisis in Syria. We have been saying, you shouldn’t support terrorism and provide it with a political umbrella, because this will reflect on your countries and your people. They didn’t listen to us,” President al-Assad said.
He went on saying that the Western politicians are “short-sighted and narrow-minded,” noting that what happened in France days ago “proved that what we said was true.”
“At the same time, this incident brought European policies to account, because they are responsible for what happened in our region, for what happened in France, and maybe what happened earlier in other European countries,” the President said.
And about his vision for the best way to fight terrorism, the President said “If we want to talk about the reality now, we need to fight terrorists because they are killing innocent people, and we have to defend these people. This is the most important and urgent method to deal with it,” said President Assad.
“But if we want to talk about the crisis,” he added, “fighting terrorism doesn’t need an army, but needs good policies. We should fight ignorance with culture and education, should build a good economy to fight poverty, and there should be an exchange of information among the countries concerned with fighting terrorism.”
He clarified that “The problem cannot be addressed in the way they addressed it in Afghanistan, I mean what they did in Afghanistan in 2001. A group of Congressmen visited Damascus at that time and they were talking about invading Afghanistan in revenge for what happened in New York earlier. I said this is not how you should do it,
because fighting terrorism is similar to treating cancer. You do not treat cancer by cutting it, but by extracting it. What happened in Afghanistan is that they cut the cancer, and the result was that it spread much faster. That’s why, as I said, we should focus on good policies, on the economy, and on culture and education.”