In a speech delivered at the opening of the Foreign and Expatriates Minister Conference on Sunday in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the West is experiencing an existential anxiety whenever a state insists on sharing in decision-making.
Having been written off by the West, most notably by the Obama Administration, Assad boasted, “The price of resistance is much lower than the price of surrender… We paid a dear price in Syria in this war, but we managed to foil the Western project.” He added that “the West is like a snake, changing its skin according to the situation.”
Assad noted the central role of his allies in stabilizing his regime: “Hezbollah fighters kept the land of Syria like any Syrian fighter defending his homeland; Iran supported us from day one, provided us with equipment and weapons without limits and also provided military advisers and political support; Russia defended Syria in the Security Council and supported the Syrian army. It sent out its forces and sacrificed its soldiers.”
“The chapters of history will record the assistance provided by Russia and Putin, Iran and Khamenei, Hizbullah and Nasrallah,” a grateful Assad said.
Assad cautioned, however, that “talking about foiling the Western project doesn’t mean we are victorious; the battle is still going on, and the signs of victory are there, but victory itself is another thing.”
Striking a familiar note, Assad said “the media and the psychological war they practiced during the past years were unable to affect us in fighting terrorism or push us towards fear and hesitation… We struck terrorism since day one, and we will continue to strike it as long as there is a single terrorist in Syria… Fighting terrorism is a goal and the basis for any action we take.”
Assad announced, “We have dealt in a very flexible manner with all initiatives that were proposed despite knowing beforehand that most of them were based on bad intentions.”
“Sectarian rhetoric was transient, and what’s on tongues is not important; what’s important is what is in the hearts,” said Assad, whose father executed tens of thousands of Muslims during his reign of terror. “If this divisive aspect that we hear about now in different parts of our society was in the hearts, then Syria would have fallen a long time ago, and the civil war that they talk about in Western media and that they tried to convince us about would have been a fait accompli.”
Assad had a special message for his neighbor to the north, Recap Tayyip Erdogan, who, he said, “is playing the role of political beggar after his support for terrorists was exposed. We don’t consider the Turkish side to be a partner nor a guarantor nor do we trust it.”