YEMEN’S NAVY CAPTURES FRENCH VESSEL LADEN WITH FOREIGN MERCENARIES

South Front

 Written by Ahmed Abdulkareem; Originally appeared on Mint Press

Yemen’s Navy, loyal to the Houthi government, captured a French naval vessel, the M/Y Jehol ll, off of the coast of Hodeidah on Saturday, according to statements made by senior military officials to MintPress News. The vessel, which was carrying foreign fighters, was engaged in a military landing operation near the port, according to Houthi officials, who gave no further details.

Mohammed al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi movement, tweeted:

“Thanks to the Yemeni Coast Guard in Hodeida, a French or American boat was seized.”

He confirmed in a later tweet that a French naval vessel named the M/Y Jehol ll was captured by Yemen’s Coast Guard near Hodeidah.

محمد علي الحوثي@Moh_Alhouthi

شكرا رجال خفر السواحل اليمنية بالحديدة
تم القبض على زورق فرنسي او أمريكي المهم اجنبي
بفضل الله

محمد علي الحوثي@Moh_Alhouthi

العملية التي قام بها خفر السواحل اليمنية بالحديدة
وتم القبض فيها على الزورق الاجنبي
بفضل الله
كان يحمل اسم (M/Y_jehol_ll)

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam accused France and Britain of being involved in the recent attack on Hodeidah. Abdulsalam told a local television station on Saturday that

“British and French warships are on standby on Yemen’s western coast to launch missile and aerial attacks.”

The French newspaper Le Figaro confirmed that France’s Special Forces are present on the ground in Yemen supporting the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign on Hodeidah. A French military source later confirmed to Reuters that French special forces are operating in Yemen.

On Friday, the French defense ministry said France was studying the possibility of carrying out a mine-sweeping operation to provide access to Hodeidah once Saudi Arabia and the UAE wrap up their military operations

A Houthi military source said in a statement to MintPress that Yemeni forces would target French, or any other foreign military vessel participating in the attack on Hodeidah, adding that

“Yemen’s forces can handle any challenge posed by invading forces.”

Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is visiting Sana’a to attempt to negotiate a Houthi transfer of the port of Hodeidah to the Saudi-UAE Coalition, a high-ranking government official told MintPress.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam noted,

“the UN envoy’s measures are only meant to cover up the continuation of the Saudi-led war on Yemen.”

Abdulsalam, who has served as the lead negotiator to Kuwait and Geneva over the past two years, stressed that if Griffiths follows his predecessor’s lead, he would fail to find a settlement to the conflict. UN envoys to Yemen have been criticized for having a heavily pro-Saudi bias. In 2017, then-UN Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, tried to convince the Houthis to cede control of Hodeidah, their only source of imported goods – including food — in exchange for paid salaries.

Despite warnings over the potentially devastating humanitarian consequences, the Saudi-led coalition is trying to capture the port city in what is shaping up to be the biggest battle of the now-three-year-old war, causing an acute shortage of vital supplies and putting millions of Yemenis at risk.

On Saturday, World Food Programme (WFP) director for Yemen, Stephen Anderson, called for a free food flow of goods through the port city, saying “the basic needs of Hodeidah’s civilians are not being satisfied.”

Approximately 500 households have been displaced from their homes in Hodeidahsince June 1, according to the UN, and at least 36 displaced families have lost their livelihoods as their farms were damaged in airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition earlier this month.

Top Photo | A Houthi fighter walks through the Red Sea port of Hodeidah on May 10, 2017. Abdul Jabbar Zeyad | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

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Yemen: Our Complicity Lies Bare

The Guardian’s Editorial

18-06-2018 | 12:50


Even if the UK warned against attacking the vital port of al-Hudaydah, we bear responsibility for the horrors of this war.
 
Yemen

The fig leaves covered little to start with, and withered long ago. Now the excuses for our role in Yemen’s misery have fallen away entirely. The assault on al-Hudaydah by the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition can only deepen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; 70% of the country’s imports pass through the port. Britain and France urged Saudi Arabia not to launch the attack, but the UK has now “said its piece”. The US rejected a UAE request for a minesweeper for the operation, but as an Emirati official observed: “Not giving us military assistance is not the same as telling us not to do it.”

So they are doing it. They are conducting this war with British-, American- and French-made arms. They are conducting it with western military training and advice; British and US officers have been in the command room for airstrikes, and this weekend Le Figaro alleged that there are French special forces on the ground in Yemen. They are conducting it with diplomatic shelter from the west. On Friday, the UK and US blocked a Swedish drive for a UN security council statement demanding a ceasefire: “Britain, as the ‘penholder’ on Yemen at the UN security council, nevertheless takes a nakedly pro-Saudi approach to the conflict,” the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell notes. Arms sales and security interests dictate.

The war has already claimed tens of thousands of lives, the oft-cited toll of 10,000 being highly conservative when reached and now hopelessly out of date. Many more stand in peril. International law obliges the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid… Relief groups have had to flee al-Hudaydah. Twenty-two million Yemenis need aid. Eight million are at risk of starvation.

The assault appears to be an attempt to pre-empt the presentation of a peace plan by the UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who had previously warned that an attack on al-Hudaydah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke”. He is due to brief the Security Council on Monday, following emergency talks, and the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, Lise Grande, has said that talks on the UN taking over the port’s administration are at an advanced stage. But even if Griffiths can manage an agreement against the odds, the chances of it sticking are poor, given both sides’ record of acting in bad faith. The complexities of a handover are immense.

The coalition backs the internationally recognized president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, driven out by the Houthis [Ansarullah revolutionaries]. But the campaign appears largely driven by two forces. First, rivalry with Iran, and other strategic interests. Second, the prestige of its leaders – notably Mohammed bin Salman, who led the charge to war and is now Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader. The coalition has calculated that after a lengthy stalemate it may be in its best position since the war began more than three years ago; it hopes to change the facts on the ground and appears to have convinced itself that al-Hudaydah will be a relatively easy win, if far from painless for civilians. This is familiar stuff, as an International Crisis Group report pointed out this week: “The warring factions are overconfident in their military prospects, almost always press for military advantage when there is an opportunity for negotiation, and are all too often starkly indifferent to the humanitarian impact of their actions and the plight of ordinary citizens.”

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi may be of one mind in their loathing for Tehran, but the crowded and increasingly complex field is exposing divergence in their interests. A few months ago, Emirati-backed forces were fighting and killing Saudi-backed forces in Aden… The entrenchment of a war economy is another significant obstacle to peace.

So it goes on, the suffering mounting, further unsettling this unstable region and breeding cynicism and rage towards the west and its talk of human rights and international law. If the complicity ever looked deniable, events of recent days have laid it bare.
Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

الاجتياح الأميركي الفاشل بيروت 1982 والحُديدة 2018

يونيو 18, 2018

محمد صادق الحسيني


لعلّ المتابع يستغرب بشدة الربط بين العاصمة اللبنانية بيروت عام 1982 والعدوان «الإسرائيلي»، بضوء أخضر أميركي عليها، حيث كان الجنرال وليام هيغ رئيساً للأركان المشتركه للجيوش الأميركية، وبين اليمن، وبالتحديد الحُديدة في اليمن، حيث يتمّ تنفيذ هجوم واسع النطاق ضدّ هذه المدينة اليمنية الساحلية من قبل ما يُطلق عليه «التحالف العربي» وبمشاركة أميركية فرنسية «إسرائيلية» مباشرة، وليس كما في الغزو «الإسرائيلي» للبنان عام 1982، أيّ بإعطاء الضوء الأخضر الأميركي فقط.

وبالعودة إلى تشابه الوضع اللبناني، في حزيران 1982، مع الوضع اليمني، في حزيران الحالي 2018، فإنّ نظرة سريعة الى مسرح العمليات على ساحل البحر الأحمر، الممتدّ من ميناء الخوخة وحتى ميناء الحُديدة، يجب أن يسجل الملاحظات التالية:

أولاً: إنّ العقل الذي خطط لاجتياح لبنان، وصولاً إلى عاصمته بيروت، هو عقل عسكري أميركي «إسرائيلي»، تمثل رئيس أركان الجيوش الأميركية، الجنرال ادوارد ماير من 1979 – 1983 ، ورئيس أركان الجيش «الإسرائيلي» رفائيل إيتان من 1978 – 1983 ، وهو العقل نفسه الذي خطط للهجوم الحالي على الحُديدة، أيّ عقل رئيس الأركان المشتركة للجيوش الأميركية جوزيف دانفورد، ورئيس أركان الجيش «الإسرائيلي» الجنرال غابي ايزينكوت.

فقد تمثلت خطة اجتياح بيروت سنة 1982 في القيام بعملية اندفاعة مدرّعة سريعة للوصول إلى بيروت، بغطاء ناري كثيف جوي وبحري وبري، إلى جانب تنفيذ عملية إنزال بحري واسع على شواطئ خلدة، عند مدخل بيروت الجنوبي من جهة المطار.

تركّزت خطة الدفاع، للقوات المشتركة اللبنانية الفلسطينية، بالتعاون مع الجيش السوري الذي كان فوجه 87 ينتشر في التلال المحيطة بخلدة نقول إنّ الخطة قد تركزت على السماح لقوات العدو المدرّعة بتنفيذ اندفاعاتها الكبيرة والسريعة باتجاه خلدة، من الدامور/ الناعمة جنوب خلدة من دون الاشتباك معها. وقد انتظرت القوات المشتركة المنتشرة في المنطقة وصول تلك القوات الى مثلث خلدة، حيث أوقعتها في كمين مضادات للدروع، يوم 9/6/1982، امتدّ على طول ثلاثة كيلومترات، بالإضافة إلى تصدّي سلاحي المدفعية والمدفعية الصاروخية للقوات المشتركة لمحاولة الإنزال البحري.

وقد نجم عن ذلك التصدّي البطولي لقوات الغزو «الإسرائيلية» تدمير لواء مدرّع «إسرائيلي» بشكل كامل، إلى جانب إفشال الإنزال البحري ومقتل وجرح العديد من عناصر البحرية «الإسرائيلية»، أيّ فشل الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في التثبّت في النقاط التي وصل إليها في مناطق جنوب بيروت، من الدامور حتى مطار بيروت الدولي، واستمرار صمود القوات المشتركة اللبنانية الفلسطينية مدة 88 يوماً في وجه أحد أعتى جيوش العالم.

ثانياً: قيام الجيش «الإسرائيلي»، إثر هذا الفشل الذريع، في دخول بيروت من مدخلها الجنوبي، بمناورة التفاف على القوات المشتركة حيث فتح جبهة جديدة في منطقة الشوف اللبنانية، أيّ من الجنوب الشرقي، ليصل لاحقاً بقواته المجوقلة ومن ثم المدرّعة الى منطقة بعبدا وبعض الأحياء الشرقية لبيروت بالتعاون مع القوات العميلة التابعة في حينه لما يُسمّى «الجبهة اللبنانية» وذراعها العسكرية «القوات اللبنانية».

ثالثاً: هذا بالضبط ما يجري منذ ثلاثة أيّام على جبهة الحُديدة، حيث قامت قوات التحالف، وتحت غطاء ناري كثيف جداً من الجو والبحر والبرّ بمحاولة الاقتراب من مواقع قوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله في جنوب الحُديدة ومنطقة المطار، حيث سمح لهذه القوات بالتقدّم وتمّ إيقاعها في كمين ضخم لمضادات الدروع مما أدّى إلى تمكّن قوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله من إبادة لواء مدرّع بالكامل وقتل وجرح جميع عناصره. في الوقت الذي حاولت فيه قوى العدوان تنفيذ عملية إنزال بحري واسعة على شواطئ غليفقه فجر يوم 14/6/2018، جنوب الحُديدة لتعزيز القوات المدرّعة التي حاولت مهاجمة القوات المدافعة عن المطار. وقد قام سلاح البحرية اليمني بالتصدّي لهذه المحاولة بالصواريخ البحرية مما أدّى الى تدمير بارجة إماراتية وقتل عدد من المرتزقة الذين حاولت تلك البارجة إنزالهم على الشاطئ، وبالتالي تمّ إفشال الهجوم بالكامل.

رابعاً: وكما حصل في المحاولة «الإسرائيلية»، في حزيران 1982، للتثبّت في مثلث خلدة والسيطرة عليه، تمهيداً لدخول بيروت، وقيام الجيش الاسرائيلي بمناورة الالتفاف على القوات المشتركة اللبنانية الفلسطينية، من محاور بيروت الجنوبية الشرقية، نقول كما حصل آنذاك قامت غرفة العمليات الأميركية البريطانية «الإسرائيلية» السعودية المشتركة، التي تقود الهجوم على الحُديدة، بالانتقال الى محاولة الالتفاف على قوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله عبر بدء تنفيذ مناورة التفاف عبر الخط الموازي لخط الساحل، أيّ عبر تنفيذ هجمات كبيرة على محور التحيتا/ بيت الفقيه /المنصورية /وباتجاه الدريهمي /الشجيرة، حيث وقعت هذه القوات في مجموعة كمائن لقوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله، التي تمكنت من إفشال إقامة رؤوس جسور لهذه القوات في المناطق المذكوره أعلاه، وبدأت التعامل معها بالوسائط النارية المناسبة، الأمر الذي أسفر عن:

ـ محاصرة قوات التحالف في المناطق التي استدرجت اليها وإيقاعها في مصائد دروع لن تخرج منها دبابة واحدة إلا حطاماً.

ـ قطع خطوط إمداد هذه القوات البرية بالكامل والشروع في تنفيذ سلسلة إغارات قاتلة ضدّها، حيث استطاعت قوات الجيش وأنصار الله تدمير ثلاث عشرة دبابة للقوات الغازية هذا اليوم فقط، وذلك على محور الفازة.

ـ نجاح قوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله في اتباع تكتيكات عسكرية مبتكرة، أفقدت قوات التحالف ميزة التفوّق الناري بشكل عام والسيطرة الجوية بشكل خاص، بدليل عدم نجاح هذه القوات في الوصول الى محيط مطار الحُديدة وإبقاء وحداتهم، التي وصلت إلى الدريهمي، تحت الحصار وعرضة للعمليات الهجومية النوعية من قبل الجيش وأنصار الله، أيّ فرض حرب استنزاف قاسية على هذه القوات ستؤدّي في أقرب الآجال الى انهيارها الكامل، رغم الغطاء الناري الكثيف الذي توفره لها طائرات التحالف، بما فيها طائرات أف 35 «الإسرائيلية».

خامساً: يُضاف إلى ذلك سلسلة الهجمات المضادّة التي تنفذها قوات الجيش اليمني وأنصار الله، ليس فقط على جميع الجبهات في اليمن، وانما داخل السعودية أيضاً، في جيزان ونجران وعسير، وما ستقوم به القوة الصاروخية اليمنية من ضربات على أهداف هامة لقوى العدوان والتي لن تكون آخرها ضربة صاروخ التوشكا الذي قتل وجرح العشرات من أولئك المرتزقة يوم 14/6/2018.

إنه زمن الأميركي البشع يحاول إعادة الكرة معنا،

لكنه زمن الانتصارات أيضاً الذي تصنعه شعوبنا الحية،

واليمنيون فيه سادة البرّ والبحر وقريباً الجو أيضاً.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

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THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others.  Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: Putin decided against purging the (unpopular) “economic block” from the Russian government because he wanted to present the EU with “known faces” and partners EU politicians would trust.  Right now, with Trump’s insane behavior openly alienating most European leaders, this is the perfect time to add a Russian “pull” to the US “push” and help bring the EU closer to Russia.  By re-appointing Russian “liberals” (that is a euphemism for WTO/WB/IMF/etc types) Putin made Russia look as attractive to the EU as possible.  In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working.

This hypothesis is predicated on one crucial assumption: that the EU, under the right conditions, could become a partner for Russia.

But is that assumption warranted?  I personally don’t believe that it is, and I will try to lay out the reasons for my skepticism:

First, there is no “EU”, at least not in political terms.  More crucially, there is no “EU foreign policy”.  Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the “EU” does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy.  The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called “EU” has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump.  At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects “more equal than others” (say, the UK versus Greece).  Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the USA, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called “EU leader” or “EU heavyweight” – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty.  The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.  The undeniable fact is that the so-called “EU foreign policy” has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

The Saker: "Can the EU become a partner for Russia?"

Welcome to Europe!

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO.  And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% USA.  Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke.  Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the USA for a long list of critical capabilities and “force multipliers“: command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc.  Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the USA.  The reason?  The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam.  Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white an blue as it gets.  Forget about the “Eurocorps” or any other so-called “European armies” – it’s all hot air, like Trudeau’s recent outburst at Trump.  In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss.  And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist.  Do you really think that anybody will let that happen?  I sure don’t!  And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion, hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border.  And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America.

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia.  They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman.  A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia.  Or the British with their “Brexit”.  The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a “Russian interference” in case the election results don’t turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it.  Best examples: the UK and Merkel.  But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British “highly likely” and in the name of “solidarity”, they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy.  There is *no way* they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes: states whose only policy is to serve the USA against Russia.  These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of “most faithful and willing loyal servant of the USA”.  The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the “fiercely patriotic Poles” who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).  True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the USA.  So don’t expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be “paid by the Kremlin” and representing Russian interests.  The best example is France and how it treated the National Front.  I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a “national security state” because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force.  Why?  Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about “Russia being an aggressor” which “does not comply with the Mink Agreements”, North Stream is going ahead!  Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions.  Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have.  This is why for *years* now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated, by the way.  We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said “nope!”.  To the extend that there is a “EU position” (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe.  So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say “no”.  By the way, for all the Trump’s statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia.

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this.  Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn’t!).  Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip.  Just think of mob “families” who can even have “wars” against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN).  I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose.  The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

  • Option one: they lose to the combined forces of the DNR and LNR.  This is probably the most likely outcome.  Should this happen, there is a very high probability of a Novorussian counter attack to liberate most of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, especially the cities of Slaviansk and Mariupol.  Since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can be pretty darn sure of what the reaction in Kiev and in the West will be: Russia will be blamed for it all.  The AngloZionists will *never* admit that the Ukronazi regime lost a civil war to its own people because the Novorussians will never accept a Nazi regime ruling over them.  Thus, a Novorussian victory will result in more hysterical Russophobia.
  • Option two: the Ukronazis succeed in their attack and threaten to overrun Donetsk, Lugansk and the rest of Novorussia.  Putin simply cannot allow this to happen.  He has made that promise many times and he has recently repeated it during his “open line” with the Russian people.  If the Russians are forced to intervene, this will not be a massive ground invasion – there is no need for that.  Russia has the firepower needed in the form of missile and artillery strikes to destroy the attacking Urkonazi forces and to impose a no-fly zone over all of Novorussia.  If Kiev pushes on and launches a full-scale attack on Russia proper, the Ukrainian armed forces will be totally disorganized and cease combat in about 48 hours.  This scenario is what I call the “Neocon dream” since such a Russian intervention will not be imaginary, but quite real and the Kremlin will even confirm it all very publicly and probably recognize the two Novorussian Republics just like what happened in 08.08.08 when Saakashvili decided to invade South Ossetia.  So, AngloZionists will (finally!) have the “proof” that Russia is the aggressor, the Poles and Balts will prepare for an “imminent” Russian invasion and I think that there is a pretty good chance that NATO forces will move into the Western Ukraine to “stop the Russians”, even if the said Russians will have absolutely no desire (or even possible motive) to want to invade the rest of the Ukraine or, even less so, Poland, Sweden or the Baltic statelets.

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen.  Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and “dobrobat” death squads) and maybe Putin’s recent not-so-veiled threat about “grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood” will have the needed effect.  But what will happen even if this attack does not take place?  The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state.  Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  It is becoming pretty clear that the USA is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones.  Right now, the USA and the “good terrorists” have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving “bad terrorists” into “good ones”.  This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower.  Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) “good terrorists” to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians.  And why not?  It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again?  At the very least, it would give the USA another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don’t matter here). And make no mistake, a US “victory” in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek’s excellent article on this topic here).  And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked.  As I wrote already many times, this is far from over.  Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye.  And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line (“solidarity”, remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum.  However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all,  but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here).  Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the “isolation” of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having a tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with.  So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal “economic block” in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion:

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the USA, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet.  It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.  You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for “protection”.  To think that by presenting a “liberal” face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don’t care about your face: what they want is your submission.  Vladimir Putin put it best when he said “They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense”.

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states.  There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria.  Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable.  Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need.  In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent.  Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc.  These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia.  Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that “either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia“.

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign.  If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.  Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called “the Europe of fatherlands“.  Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall.  Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia.  Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe.  A prosperous Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals” is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European  elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy:  they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire.  This is why pushing the issue of “true sovereignty” (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire.  This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.

The Saker

PS: just as I was sending this article away I came across this article by Paul Craig Roberts “Is Europe Too Brainwashed To Normalize Relations With Russia?” – make sure to also check it out!

The Bombing of Hodeidah, Yemen’s Biggest Port: UK Government Complicit in a Humanitarian Catastrophe

The Bombing of Hodeidah, Yemen’s Biggest Port: UK Government Complicit in a Humanitarian Catastrophe

By CAAT – Campaign Against Arms Trade,

The ongoing war in Yemen has reached an even more deadly stage, as the Saudi-led coalition begins strikes against Hodeidah. 

The town includes the biggest port in Yemen, and has provided a vital lifeline for many across the country, with over 70% of Yemen’s imports, food and aid shipments flowing through it.

Humanitarian organisations have warned that strikes would be devastating. Save the Children said that vital aid will be cut-off and a further 340,000 people could be displaced.

Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, the UK has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms to the Saudi regime, including:

  • £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
  • £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)

It has also licensed substantial amounts of weaponry to the United Arab Emirates and the other regimes taking part in the ongoing bombing campaign.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

 “The crisis in Yemen is one of the worst in the world, and almost every major aid agency and international organisation has warned that these strikes will make the situation even more dire.

There is no doubt that UK arms will play a central role in the bombardment. This terrible war could not have been fought without the complicity of politicians like Theresa May and her colleagues, who have armed and supported the Saudi-led coalition every step of the way.”

Al-Assad to British Mail: US, UK Existence in Syria Colonial

 

10-06-2018 | 13:04

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused the UK of publicly supporting the White Helmets that are a branch of Al-Qaeda and al-Nusra in different areas of Syria.
He further viewed that Syria considers the White Helmets to be a PR stunt by the UK.
Al-Assad to British Mail: US, UK Existence in Syria Colonial

In an interview given to Britain’s Mail on Sunday published on Sunday morning, al-Assad asserted that the alleged chemical attack in Douma was staged by the UK, France, and the US.

In this context, he slammed the United States and British military actions in Syria as “colonial” while praising supporter Russia.
“We’ve had good relations with Russia for more than six decades now, nearly seven decades. They never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences,” he told the British newspaper.
He also said that there had been communications from different intelligence agencies in Europe, but it was stopped recently because they’re not serious.
“They want to exchange information despite their governments being politically against ours, so we said… When you change your political position, we’re ready,” he said.
“Now, there’s no cooperation with any European intelligence agencies including the British.”

In parallel, the head of the Syrian state stressed that the presence of the US and the UK in Syria is illegal and constitutes invasion as it breaches the sovereignty of Syria.

Al-Assad affirmed that Syria is the main party who’s been fighting Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS”/ “ISIL” group], and that every inch of Syrian territory will be liberated.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he confirmed that that the only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen is a Syrian decision, and no one should have any doubt about this.
“They never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences; because there is a war and because there’s high dynamism now in the region, it’s natural to have differences between the different parties, whether within our government or other governments; Russia-Syria, Syria-Iran, Iran-Russia, and within these governments, that’s very natural, but at the end the only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen, it’s a Syrian decision,” he said.
Al-Assad revealed that his government has disagreed with Russia and Iran throughout the country’s seven-year conflict.
“That’s very natural, but at the end the only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen, it’s a Syrian decision,” he said.
Al-Assad denied Russia coordinated or even knew in advance about reported “Israeli” strikes inside his country and downplayed Moscow’s role in determining Iran’s presence there.
“Russia never coordinated with anyone against Syria, either politically or militarily, and that’s contradiction; how could they help the Syrian Army advancing and at the same time work with our enemies in order to destroy our army.”
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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President Assad “UK publicly supported White Helmets that are a branch of Al Qaeda, US and UK existence in Syria is invasion”

President al-Assad to Mail on Sunday: UK publicly supported White Helmets that are a branch of Al Qaeda, US and UK existence in Syria is invasion

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad said that the UK publicly supported the White Helmets that are a branch of Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra in different areas of Syria, stressing that Syria considers the White Helmets to be a PR stunt by the UK.

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad said that the UK publicly supported the White Helmets that are a branch of Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra in different areas of Syria, stressing that Syria considers the White Helmets to be a PR stunt by the UK.

In an interview given to Britain’s Mail on Sunday published on Sunday morning, President al-Assad asserted that the alleged chemical attack in Douma was staged by the UK, France, and the US.

He also said that there had been communications from different intelligence agencies in Europe, but it was stopped recently because they’re not serious.

His Excellency stressed that the presence of the US and the UK in Syria is illegal and constitutes invasion as it breaches the sovereignty of Syria.

President Assad affirmed that Syria is the main party who’s been fighting ISIS, and that every inch of Syrian territory will be liberated.

He asserted that the only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen is a Syrian decision, and no one should have any doubt about this.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Question 1: Mr. President, as of the 31st of March 2018, the total sum of funding that the British government supplied to the White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, is GBP 38.4 million. At the same time, Russia accuses Britain of helping stage the attack that took place in Douma via this organization, the White Helmets. Do you, as Syria’s President, believe that’s true?

President Assad: Definitely, without a doubt. Britain, France, and the US are following and adopting the same policy. That said, to be completely frank and stark, Britain and France are political satellites to the US. The UK publicly supported the White Helmets that are a branch of Al Qaeda, al-Nusra, in different areas of Syria. They (Britain) spent a lot of money, and we consider the White Helmets to be a PR stunt by the UK. So yes, definitely, it was staged by these three countries together, and the UK is involved.

Question 2: British Prime Minister Theresa May said she had no doubt the Syrian regime was behind the April 7 chemical attacks and told her critics that Britain’s participation had been right and legal and permitted under international law to alleviate humanitarian suffering. Do states not have a responsibility to protect against war crimes? How is the UK participation in strikes against Syria not justified under international law?

President Assad: So, according to her statements, when Britain and the US attacked Iraq illegally in 2003, killed millions, caused mass destruction, let alone the number of widows and amputees – according to May’s logic, any government has the right to attack the UK or the US if it thought the act was justified, legal and allowed under international law to alleviate human suffering. This is first.

Second, they told a lie; they didn’t provide their own public opinion – the British public – any evidence. After we liberated al-Ghouta, where the alleged attack happened, many foreign journalists, some of them against the Syrian government, asked local people about the chemical attack, and they said “we didn’t see any chemical attack, it didn’t happen.” It was a lie, especially after we liberated that area, our information confirmed that that attack did not take place. The British government should first prove with evidence that the attack happened, and then they should prove who is responsible – of course this did not happen.

There was no attack; this is where the lie begins. Again, it wasn’t about the attack; the crux of the issue is that they need to undermine the Syrian government, as they needed to change and topple the Syrian government at the beginning of the events of the war in Syria. They keep failing, they keep telling lies, and they continue to play a war of attrition against our government.

Question 3: Unconfirmed reports have circulated that the Syrian government captured Western regular forces, as well as British fighters. Can you confirm this or shed light on these reports?

President Assad: There are fighters from all over the world helping the Jihadists. I wouldn’t say we have British fighters who are alive. Most of those fighters, they are dead, they came here to die and to go to paradise, that’s their ideology.

Journalist: But you confirm that they’re dead, and they were from these countries?

President Assad: Yes.

Question 4: Have there been any attempts, even through mediators or third parties, by the British government or its intelligence branches to establish communications with Syria for intelligence for whatever reason?

President Assad: No. We did have communications from different intelligence agencies in Europe, but it was stopped recently because they’re not serious. They want to exchange information despite their governments being politically against ours, so we said when you have a political umbrella for this kind of cooperation, or let’s say when you change your political position, we’re ready. Now, there’s no cooperation with any European intelligence agencies including the British.

Question 5: But there’s been no attempts by Britain to try and open lines of communication, as far as you know, even through mediators?

President Assad: Even if there is a kind of an attempt, we don’t discuss it; it’s trivial, whether there is or not.

Question 6: What are your views on May and Trump’s handling of issues in the Middle East, and in Syria specifically, and what’s the difference between their interventions in the region and those of Putin?

President Assad: Big difference: The Russians were invited by the Syrian government, their existence in Syria is a legitimate existence, the same for the Iranians. While for the United States, the UK, it is illegal, it is an invasion, they are breaching the sovereignty of Syria – a sovereign country. So, their existence is not legal at all, it is an illegitimate existence.

Journalist: But in your view, how have they handled Syria, both May and Trump?

President Assad: It’s not about May and Trump; it’s about the Western politicians in general, the Western regimes in general. They don’t accept anyone who has a different point of view, any country, any government, any personality. That’s the case with Syria; Syria is very independent in its political positions, we work for our national interests, we’re not a puppet state. They don’t accept this reality. So, the whole approach toward Syria in the West is “we have to change this government, we have to demonize this president, because they don’t suit our policies anymore.” This is the situation, everything else is like flavors; they tell lies, they talk about chemical weapons, they talk about the bad president killing the good people, freedom, peaceful demonstration; all these lies are flavors for the main goal, which is regime change.

So, my answer to your question about how I see it is: this is colonial policy, that’s how we see it, and this is not new. They have never changed this policy since the old way of colonialism that existed in the beginning of the 20th century and the 19th century and before, but today it’s covered by, let’s say, a new mask, or different masks.

Question 7: Your main global adversaries today are Trump, Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a lineup of unusual, unpopular characters. Are you suddenly looking good by comparison?

President Assad: I cannot compare myself to anyone, because I wouldn’t be objective judging myself, so you better ask this question to others. But when you want to have an objective answer, you have to look for the real facts, not the propaganda that’s been circulating in the Western media now for seven years. So, at the end, for me I don’t care how I look in comparison to those; for me it’s important how I look in the eyes of the Syrian people, that’s my focus.

Question 8: In 2013, you told me “Syria lies at the fault line geographically, politically, socially, and ideologically,” and warned that playing with this fault line will have serious repercussions across the Middle East and Europe.

President Assad: Yes, we’re at the fault line, the last five years have proven that I was right, because look at the repercussions all over the world, look at the terrorism spreading all over the world because of the chaos that is supported by the West in Syria. Look at the different attacks in Europe, in UK, in France, other countries. Look at the refugee crisis in Europe. That’s because of the fault line that I talked about five years ago.

Question 9: Five years on since you told me this, or since you said that, during which ISIS was born, you seem to see yourself as the main bulwark against it, why is that?

President Assad: For ISIS, we are the main party who’s been fighting ISIS with support by the Russians and Iranians during the past years. No other party is doing the same, even partially. If you want to talk about the West and the Western military alliance led by the Americans, actually it has been supporting ISIS, because they’ve been attacking the Syrian Army whenever we attack or we’ve been attacked by ISIS; the last incident happened only days ago, when ISIS attacked the Syrian Army and of course we defeated them, and in response the Americans attacked our troops in the eastern part of Syria.

Question 10: Was the world wrong in isolating you for the last seven years?

President Assad: The concept of isolating a country in general is wrong. In the world, in the modern politics, even in the olden days’ politics, you need communications. When you isolate a country, you isolate yourself from the reality in that country, so you’re becoming politically blind. So, the concept is wrong.

Question 11: Mr. President, some regard you as an international pariah, a dictator, with blood on your hands, give me an argument for why you are not, when in the past seven years, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed, arrested, imprisoned, and even tortured?

President Assad: So, the story that you’re talking about, or let’s say the Western narrative, that this is a bad president; he’s killing his own people, and the whole world is against him because he’s an international pariah, but he’s been in his position for seven years while he’s fighting everyone in this world. Can you convince your readers about this story? It doesn’t even hold together, I mean the different factors of this narrative, it’s not logical, it’s not realistic. So, this president is in his position because he has the support of his own people, so how could he have this support while he’s killing these same people? So, the story is not correct. We are fighting the terrorists, and those terrorists are supported by the British government, the French government, the Americans and their puppets whether in Europe or in our region. We are fighting them, and we have public support in Syria to fight those terrorists. That’s why we are advancing. We cannot make these advances just because we have Russian and Iranian support; they cannot substitute the popular support, and the proof of what I’m talking about: Shah of Iran, the Western puppet, he couldn’t withstand the backlash of the Iranian people, and he collapsed, the whole system collapsed in a few weeks, and he had to flee his country.

Question 12: But despite having support of many Syrians, the fact remains that there are thousands, tens of thousands of people that were killed, and have been imprisoned.

President Assad: Of course, you’re talking about a war; there is no good war, there is no peaceful war. That’s why war is bad. So, when you talk about war, the natural and the self-evident result is death and blood everywhere, but the question is: who started this war, and who supported this war? The West. The West supported the war from the very beginning, and it supported the terrorists who started exploding everywhere and killing everywhere and everyone and beheading. The West supported Al Qaeda. So, it’s not enough to say there is killing. Of course, there is killing; that’s self-evident, but who started? The West is responsible first of all.

Question 13: The West is responsible, but some also say that Mr. Assad or President Assad should bear responsibility as well.

President Assad: Any Syrian could bear responsibility because of what’s happening in Syria. That’s another issue, this is a Syrian issue, we don’t discuss it with the West. It’s not the role of the West to tell us who’s responsible in Syria, the president or the government or the army or the terrorists, this is a Syrian issue; we decide who. The West is in no position to tell us, at the end, it’s not its role, but it interfered in a sovereign country and is responsible of the killing in our country, regardless of its narrative and its lies.

Question 14: Russia appears to be making a lot of decisions about Syria, whether about foreign troops withdrawing to deals being struck with Israel over southern Syria, to which weapons you may or may not have. Does Russia now make your decisions?

President Assad: Russia is fighting for the international law, and part of this international law is the sovereignty of different countries, of the sovereign countries, Syria is one of them. Their politics, their behaviors, their values are not about interfere or dictate; they don’t. We’ve had good relations with Russia for more than six decades now, nearly seven decades. They never, during our relation, try to dictate, even if there are differences; because there is a war and because there’s high dynamism now in the region, it’s natural to have differences between the different parties, whether within our government or other governments; Russia-Syria, Syria-Iran, Iran-Russia, and within these governments, that’s very natural, but at the end the only decision about what’s going on in Syria and what’s going to happen, it’s a Syrian decision. No one should have any doubt about this, regardless of the statements that you may hear, because I know on which base the question is.

Journalist: Based on various statements.

President Assad: Exactly.

Question 15: So, why has Russia not given you the S300 they promised for years, at a time when Israel is striking Syria practically every week, and why is Russia coordinating these strikes’ targets behind the scenes with your enemies?

President Assad: Russia never coordinated with anyone against Syria, either politically or militarily, and that’s contradiction; how could they help the Syrian Army advancing and at the same time work with our enemies in order to destroy our army?

Journalist: But they usually know in advance where the attacks are going to happen…

President Assad: No, no, that’s not true, that’s not true, definitely. We know the details. Regarding the S300, why they announced it and then they stopped talking about it, you better ask the Russian officials. It’s a political statement, they have their own tactics. But whether they send it or they’re going to send it or not, this is a military issue; we don’t talk about it.

Question 16: Senior Pentagon officials have warned they will militarily retaliate should you mess with their alliance. Are you ever going to get rid of the US military presence in Syria, are you prepared to fight them directly?

President Assad: Since the beginning of the war, the Americans and their allies haven’t stopped threatening Syria, they haven’t stopped supporting the terrorists, and they haven’t stopped attacking us directly on numerous occasions. But in spite of this we have been advancing against the terrorists, and we have said that we’re going to liberate every inch of Syria regardless of any statement or any attack. This is our land and this is our duty; it’s not a political opinion, it’s a national duty. We’re going to advance in that direction regardless of the military or political position of our adversaries.

Question 17: You’ve said that you will take back every inch of Syrian territory, how long you anticipate this will take you?

President Assad: This is not only about the Syrian Army and the terrorists, or about the events within the border of our country, otherwise I would have given you, let’s say, maybe a precise timeframe. But I have always said that in less than a year we can solve this conflict, it’s not very complicated. What has made it complicated is the external interference. The more we advance, the more support the terrorists have from the West. Look, for example, we were about to achieve reconciliation in the southern part of Syria only two weeks ago, but the West interfered and asked the terrorists not to follow this path in order to prolong the Syrian conflict. So, we think the more advances we make politically and militarily, the more the West, especially US, UK, and France, will try to prolong it and make the solution farther from the Syrians. But in spite of this, we are closing the gap between the two.

Question 18: Mr. President, in three years’ time, you will come to the end of your presidency term now, and it’s been a long seven years and the next two years, do you think you will be running again as president, or you will call it a day and decide that it’s time for you to take a break?

President Assad: It’s still early to talk about it; you’re talking about three years from now. Three years on, no one knows how the situation is going to be in our country. If I’m going to run for the presidency, there are two factors: First of all, will – personal will to take responsibility, and second – which is the most important, the will of the Syrian people. Do they accept that person? Is the mood about me as president still the same, or will the Syrian people change their position? So, in three years, we will have to look at these two factors and then decide whether it’s appropriate or not.

Question 19: How do you think history will remember you?

President Assad: It depends on which history: The Western history? It’s going to be skewed; it’s going to tell lies and lies and lies; the same lies that we have heard not only about our present but also about the past. Our history on the other hand, which I care about, I hope it will remember me as somebody who fought the terrorists to save his country, and that was my duty as president.

Question 20: With the World Cup around the corner, do you have a favorite team?

President Assad: In these circumstances, yes, my favorite team is the Syrian Army, to fight the terrorists.

Journalist: Any favorite British teams, football teams?

President Assad: No, I don’t follow.

Question 21: It’s been seven years of war, what do you do to let off steam, any hobbies?

President Assad: Sports is not a hobby, it becomes a part of your health, and a part of your daily routine, because good health is important to staying active. So, we cannot look at it as entertainment; there’s no time or mood for entertainment. You’re living with the war, the killing, with terrorism. So, this is the only hobby that has become a habit, a daily habit depending on the time and circumstances.

Question 22: Your wife is British, and you’ve lived in London for many years, is there anything in particular that you miss from your days there?

President Assad: I lived in London, I learned as a doctor. It’s impossible for you to live in a city and you don’t feel there is a special link with that city or with the people that you work with on a daily basis. So, you miss maybe this relation, but you live sometimes in contradiction; that the same city that you like is the same country that’s been attacking your country, which is not good.

Journalist: Thank you very much Mr. President.

President Assad: Thank you.

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