Transcript: Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Part III

Part III: Partial transcript of Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The interview was broadcasted on Sept. 9, 2013.

Charlie Rose: But this was not primitive. This was a terrible use of chemical weapons.

President al-Assad: Third, they used it in Aleppo in the north of Syria. Fourth, there’s a video on YouTube where the terrorists clearly make trials on a rabbit and kill the rabbit and said “this is how we’re going to kill the Syrian people.” Fifth, there’s a new video about one of those women who they consider as rebel or fighter who worked with those terrorists and she said “they didn’t tell us how to use the chemical weapons” and one of those weapons exploded in one of the tunnels and killed twelve. That’s what she said. Those are the evidence that we have. Anyway, the party who accused is the one who has to bring evidences. The United States accused Syria, and because you accused you have to bring evidence, this first of all. We have to find evidences when we are there.

Charlie Rose: What evidence would be sufficient for you?

President al-Assad: For example, in Aleppo we had the missile itself, and the material, and the sample from the sand, from the soil, and samples from the blood.

Charlie Rose: But the argument is made that your forces bombarded Ghouta soon thereafter with the intent of covering up evidence.

President al-Assad: How could bombardment cover the evidence? Technically, it doesn’t work. How? This is stupid to be frank, this is very stupid.

Charlie Rose: But you acknowledge the bombardment?

President al-Assad: Of course, there was a fight. That happens every day; now you can have it. But, let’s talk… we have indications, let me just finish this point, because how can use WMD while your troops are only 100 meters away from it? Is it logical? It doesn’t happen. It cannot be used like this. Anyone who’s not military knows this fact. Why do you use chemical weapons while you’re advancing? Last year was much more difficult than this year, and we didn’t use it.

Charlie Rose: There is this question too; if it was not you, does that mean that you don’t have control of your own chemical weapons and that perhaps they have fallen into the hands of other people who might want to use them?

President al-Assad: That implies that we have chemical weapons, first. That implies that it’s being used, second. So we cannot answer this question until we answer the first part and the second part. Third, let’s presume that a country or army has this weapon; this kind of armaments cannot be used by infantry for example or by anyone. This kind of armament should be used by specialized units, so it cannot be in the hand of anyone.

Charlie Rose: Well, exactly, that’s the point.

President al-Assad: Which is controlled centrally.

Charlie Rose: Ah, so you are saying that if in fact, your government did it, you would know about it and you would have approved it.

President al-Assad: I’m talking about a general case.

Charlie Rose: In general, you say if in fact it happened, I would have known about it and approved it. That’s the nature of centralized power.

President al-Assad: Generally, in every country, yes. I’m talking about the general rules, because I cannot discuss this point with you in detail unless I’m telling you what we have and what we don’t have, something I’m not going to discuss as I said at the very beginning, because this is a military issue that could not be discussed.

Charlie Rose: Do you question the New York Times article I read to you, saying you had a stockpile of chemical weapons? You’re not denying that.

President al-Assad: No, we don’t say yes, we don’t say no, because as long as this is classified, it shouldn’t be discussed.

Charlie Rose: The United States is prepared to launch a strike against your country because they believe chemical weapons are so abhorrent, that anybody who uses them crosses a red line, and that therefore, if they do that, they have to be taught a lesson so that they will not do it again.

President al-Assad: What red line? Who drew it?

Charlie Rose: The President says that it’s not just him, that the world has drawn it in their revulsion against the use of chemical weapons, that the world has drawn this red line.

We have our red lines: our sovereignty, our independence

President al-Assad: Not the world, because Obama drew that line, and Obama can draw lines for himself and his country, not for other countries. We have our red lines, like our sovereignty, our independence, while if you want to talk about world red lines, the United States used depleted uranium in Iraq, Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza, and nobody said anything. What about the red lines? We don’t see red lines. It’s political red lines.

Charlie Rose: The President is prepared to strike, and perhaps he’ll get the authorization of Congress or not. The question then is would you give up chemical weapons if it would prevent the President from authorizing a strike? Is that a deal you would accept?

President al-Assad: Again, you always imply that we have chemical weapons.

Charlie Rose: I have to, because that is the assumption of the President. That is his assumption, and he is the one that will order the strike.

President al-Assad: It’s his problem if he has an assumption, but for us in Syria, we have principles. We’d do anything to prevent the region from another crazy war. It’s not only Syria because it will start in Syria.


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3 Comments on “Transcript: Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Part III

  1. Pingback: Syria: Chemical Weapons | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Charlie Rose's interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - Part II | What The Folly?!

  3. Pingback: Transcript: Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – Part V | What The Folly?!

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