Sunday, February 21, 2016

Liberating Syria Requires Defeating Terrorism

Liberating Syria Requires Defeating Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Preserving Syrian sovereignty depends on eliminating the scourge of US-supported ISIS and other terrorist groups - continuing the unrelenting campaign against them.

US calls for cessation of hostilities and Geneva III talks reflect pure deception. Washington wants war, not peace.

Ceasefire, if implemented, furthers its imperial objectives, buys time to rearm ISIS and other terrorist groups, add new fighters to their ranks, lets them continue serving as US foot soldiers, waging endless war to transform Syria into another US vassal state.

Interviewed by Spain’s El Pais newspaper, Assad was asked if he supports a cessation of hostilities. “Definitely,” he said, provided all sides observe it.

Key is “preventing the terrorists from using (it) to improve their position, (along with) preventing other countries, especially Turkey, from sending more recruits, more terrorists, more armaments, or any kind of logistical support” - flagrantly violating agreed on terms.

Unless observed without compromise or breach, “more chaos” will follow, risking “de facto division of the country,” destroying Syrian sovereignty, Washington’s imperial aim.

Asked if fighting will continue even with a ceasefire agreed on, Assad said “(y)es, of course,” against ISIS and other terrorist groups until they’re defeated.

Syrian forces are close to liberating Aleppo, a strategically important objective. Most of the city is under government control, Assad explained.

The aim isn’t “about recapturing the city. (I)t’s about closing the roads between Turkey and…the terrorist groups.”

The main routes are closed. “Of course, it’s not a complete seal,” but it makes it much harder for Turkey to supply ISIS and other terrorist groups. “That’s why (it’s) shelling” YPG Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Government forces are battling terrorist groups on “ten fronts,” Assad explained. Advancing toward Raqqa continues. “(T)iming depends on the results of different battles…”

Russian and Iranian support remain vital, he stressed. A US-led coalition of dozens of countries support ISIS and other terrorist groups. 

Syria alone can’t defeat them. International support Moscow and Tehran provide are crucial. 

If Turkey and/or Saudi Arabia attack with ground or aerial forces, “we’re going to deal with them like we deal with the terrorists…defend(ing) our country, (combating) aggression,” Assad explained.

All armed anti-government militants waging war on Syria are “terrorist(s).” The same holds true everywhere, he stressed.

Nonbelligerent political opposition elements alone are legitimate. Assad offered amnesty to all fighters willing to lay down their arms.

Many did so, he said. Some “joined the Syrian army…(They’re) fighting ISIS” and other terrorist groups.

Geneva III failed, he explained, “a mixture of (US, Saudi, Turkish, Qatari backed) terrorists and extremists or their supporters,” a farcical dead-on-arrival initiative.

Syria won’t negotiate with terrorists, aiming to destroy its sovereignty, Assad stressed. He supports “national unity government where every political party can join if they have the will.”

Terrorist elements, of course, are excluded for obvious reasons. Syrians alone must decide their future, free from foreign interference.

Assad calls himself “a Syrian citizen” dedicated to “sav(ing) his country. That’s my job now. That’s my duty,” he stressed - how all responsible leaders would act.

He supports dialogue with everyone “except the terrorist groups.” He’s committed to continue struggling to liberate Syria from foreign-supported terrorists wanting it destroyed.

Syrians overwhelmingly back him. He deserves universal support.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.