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Rudaw

Syria

Assad: Erdogan is ‘personally responsible’ for Syrian chaos

By Rudaw 26/1/2015
Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Syrian presidency.
Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Syrian presidency.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “is personally responsible” for the turmoil in Syria and the surge in Islamic terrorism in the region, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a magazine interview published Monday.

Asked if Turkey was the neighbor he was most concerned about, he told US-based Foreign Affairs magazine: “Exactly. Logistically, and about terrorist financing from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but through Turkey.”

He alleged that the Islamist Erdogan “belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, which is the base of al-Qaeda,” and said that Turkey stands squarely behind the insurgents fighting under the Islamic State (ISIS) banner.

Referring to Erdogan, Assad said: “He’s very fanatical, and that’s why he still supports ISIS. He is personally responsible for what happened.” He added that without Turkish support for ISIS the Syrian army could easily defeat the insurgents.

“There  will be no problem defeating them. Even today we don’t have a problem militarily. The problem is that they still have this continuous supply, mainly from Turkey,” the embattled Syrian president told the magazine in a January 20 interview in Damascus.

He added that the United States should put “pressure on Turkey, pressure on Saudi Arabia, pressure on Qatar to stop supporting the rebels,” and rejected US troops on the ground to fight ISIS.

“Definitely, it has to be Syrian troops. This is our land; this is our country. We are responsible. We don’t ask for American troops at all,” he said.

“The Turks keep sending them (the insurgents) armaments and money. Did the United States put any pressure on Turkey to stop the support of al- Qaeda? They didn’t; they haven’t,” Assad said.

He added that US air strikes on ISIS positions in Kobane, in support of Kurdish forces fighting there, had been ineffective and showed that Washington is not serious about fighting terrorism.

“It’s been more than three months since the beginning of the attacks, and they haven’t finished. Same areas, same al-Qaeda factions occupying them,” he said. “It means they’re not serious about fighting terrorism.”

“What we’ve seen so far is just, let’s say, window-dressing, nothing real. Since the beginning of these attacks, ISIS has gained more land in Syria and Iraq,” the president said.

Despite his claims, Kurdish forces fighting in Kobane – together with US air power -- say they have made huge gains against ISIS, regaining control of nearly 90 percent of the city.

Asked if he really believed that Syria’s Sunnis and Kurds still believed in a unified Syria, Assad said: “The divisions in Syria are not based on sectarian or ethnic grounds. And even in the Kurdish area you are talking about, we have two different colors: we have Arabs more than Kurds. So it’s not about the ethnicity; it’s about the factions that control certain areas militarily.”

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Flaminco | 26/1/2015
No years of despotic rule by both your father and yourself lead to the situation in Syria, Turkey just "helped" along when it exploded. You are brutal filthy dictator who is reconcilable for the arrest, torture, rape and murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrian people.
Kurds Must Unite | 26/1/2015
What he says about the Turkish support for the IS is true and is well known by everybody.Nothing new at this respect.As to what he says about the Kurdish areas is shere state typical denial of the Kurdish people and their existence.His regime has conducted an Arabization plan called "Arabic belt" which consists of deporting Kurds from their lands and bringing in Arab tribes instead.Yet it is true that he did not initiate such a policy, he just contiued to practice it as it dates from the year 1964 well before his father acceded to power.So,to be fair,the persecution of the Kurds in Syria is a matter like "raison d'être" of the Syrian state.This was internationaly accepted and so it is until our days.The same hapens also in Turkey,Iran and Iraq .Therefore, we must turn this war into our war of independence.Kurds must unite.
The war is the health of the state. | 26/1/2015
Kurds and Syrian poor people are put between the vise of Turkish Islamic fascist expansionist polices in and their proxy terrorist groups like ISIS in one end and the Arab Baathist fascist nationalists on the other end.The only solution for the Kurds and ordinary Syrian population which has no stake in this barbaric war is to fight back both evils on many fronts,unfortunately the poor people always has to pay the high price of their wars which are waged by states.
Kurdo | 26/1/2015
He is right on Turkey, Qatar and soudi arabia.
Reality | 26/1/2015
Sure he won't ask for american troops, but Iranian and Hezbollah troops are ok! Please this jerk makes me throw up. What's happening in Syria is only your fault!
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