Hezbollah-linked al-Manar TV released an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Tuesday night, in which the Syrian leader talked for over an hour about topics spanning Iran and Russia's support for his government to his thoughts on Jordan and Egypt.
The Syrian leader makes frequent intviews with the channel, in addition to Russia Today and Syrian state media. But this one comes on the heels of fresh international condenmation of the Syrian government after a string of deadly strikes on the Syrian city of Douma left over 100 dead and scores more injured this month.
A promo for the full-length interview aired Monday night and featured Assad addressing recent Israeli strikes in the Golan. He said he would not immediately respond to strikes from the neighboring country, and would instead aim at fighting the "terrorists" in his own country (a.k.a. the blanket term Assad uses to describe all his enemies in Syria).
But there was a lot more to the interview. Here's what you need to know.
1. Assad addressed Iran's nuclear agreement with the US and world powers, calling the move to sidestep involving Syria 'very clever.' In addition to the fact that the current deal fails to secure the release of several US prisoners held in Iran, critics have also pointed out that the agreement is happening as Iran continues to fund and support the Assad regime more than four years into the civil war.
2. He praised Russia for being a continual partner to his government. This also comes at a crucial time — Assad's government purportedly received six new fighter jets from Moscow earlier this month.
3. Egypt and Syria should upkeep good relations, Assad said, since they are fighting 'the same terror.' This presumably is in reference to a growing insurgency in the Sinai, or a conflation of the Egyptian government's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members to the presence of hardline Islamic groups fighting in Syria. He said the same about Iraq.
4. Meanwhile, Jordan is dependend on the US, incapable of making its own decisions, accorsing to Assad. Turkey too, apparently. The president went on to say Turkey proved it to was a "slave" to the US after failing to erect a proposed no-fly zone along the border amid the US's disapproval.
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