ISIS would be easy to defeat if Turkey and Saudi Arabia did not support it – Assad’s adviser
Money and resources flowing to Islamic State from regional players make it more difficult to fight terrorism, an adviser to Syria’s president told RT, adding that the political dialogue has also been thwarted by opposition groups backed by foreign states.
“For five years they [Syrian opposition] have not been able to have a dialogue, because each party of this opposition belongs to a different country and is paid by different countries. They are not an opposition that have a political party in Syria and that have grown from the Syrian people. This is the only opposition in the world that are agents of foreign countries against their own country,” Bashar Assad’s political adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, said in an interview with RT.
Direct talks between the opposition and the government will be held “whenever the opposition is able to get together and be at the table,” she said, adding that while the government is ready for dialogue, their opponents have so far failed to even agree on their own delegation.
“We are running the country according to its constitution… We are fighting terrorism as we should, and we are forthcoming in pursuing any political solution,” she said, adding that both in Syria and Iraq the armies have been “trying their very best” to defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
However, the interference of some regional players has hampered the success of the process, Shaaban said.
“If it were not for the support [of militants groups] by regional parties – in particular Turkey and Saudi Arabia, it would not be difficult to defeat ISIL. But the money, the resources, the facilitation comes from these countries to IS,” she told RT. Islamic State “doesn’t live in a vacuum,” she added, saying that the militants have been receiving support not only from countries in the region, but also “political support of the United States and the West.”
“There is no such thing as moderate terrorist or moderate opposition, because anyone who carries arms is not moderate, anyone who is killing people is not moderate, anyone who is destroying institutions in the country is not moderate,” she explained, saying that the use of the word “moderate” in this case “has no relation to reality whatsoever.”
“It’s very dangerous, as so many people are using it almost unconsciously… It’s an abuse of the language,” the Syrian president’s adviser said, adding that some powers “depend on this abuse of the language” in trying to achieve their political goals.
Commenting on the idea of a so-called “Plan B” for Syria made public by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that dividing up the country might be necessary should the ceasefire fail, Assad’s adviser said that “the Syrian people have fought for five years against any partition of Syria.” She expressed hope that the initial ceasefire plan put forward with Russian-American efforts “will succeed to keep the territorial integrity and the unity of Syria.”
— RT America (@RT_America) February 24, 2016
The main objective now is to defeat terrorism in the region, Shaaban said, stressing that this “requires first of all, stopping the flow of support” to terror groups.
“It’s only [when] the Russian forces came to Syria that the oil trucks that were going to Turkey were attacked. Only when the Russian planes came to Syria, were we able to control some parts of the border with Turkey,” she said. “And that’s why Turkey started to attack us directly,” she added.
“The Syrian army is working very well and it’s strong, but the Russian airplanes is something that we do not have. They are more advanced, more modern, more capable and more precise in targeting terrorists,” the presidential adviser said. Recognizing that “Russian help in the airspace [which] is extremely important for the Syrian army,” she stressed that the Russian Air Force and the Syrian government only target terrorists, despite the “many false reports that Western media put in order to show that Russia is not doing the right thing in Syria.”
— RT (@RT_com) February 22, 2016
“I get tired of saying how many unfounded news come to us every day from Western media. They fabricate news about Russia, Syria, about what’s happening on the ground – but they have no grain of truth in them,” Bouthaina Shaaban told RT.