I refer again to the recent interview with President al-Assad featured in my previous post (here is the SANA link again: https://sana.sy/en/?p=177331), from which the brief quote above is taken, and I want to share somethging on what is in my opinion one of the most vexing questions on the conduct of this conflict or more particularly the conduct of the Western components in the conflict, both in media coverage and government rhetoric more than the military sphere.
It is the ongoing wails and laments from the West whenever the Syrian government enjoys some success, or even before that, on the battlefield. The loudest noises coming from Western sources at those times are about ‘potential civilian casualties’ as a result of such action – as if the West even cared about such matters, which it is blatantly evident that they don’t.
The following quote is a question around that and the very credible answer from the President.
“Journalist: Remaining with Idlib, but from a different perspective, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and in an interview with a newspaper about the situation in Idlib, described it as complicated, and I’ll mention the points he made: he called for a solution which guarantees the security of civilians. He also talked about the presence of terrorist organizations and the importance of avoiding an all-out military campaign which, in his opinion, will, far from solving the problem, have a serious humanitarian consequence. What do you think of what he said, and will the operation be postponed or stopped because of international pressure or based on Pedersen’s remarks?
President Assad: If Pedersen has the means or the capacity to solve the problem without an all-out military operation, it will be good. Why does he not solve the problem? If he has a clear plan, we have no objection. It is very simple. He can visit Turkey and tell the Turks to convince the terrorists, or ask Turkey to separate the civilians from the militants. Let the civilians stay in one area and the militants in another. It would be even easier if he could identify who is a militant and who is not. Fighting terrorism is not achieved by theorizing, making rhetorical statements or by preaching. As for postponing, had we waited for an international decision – and by international decision I mean American, British, French and those who stand with them – we would not have liberated any region in Syria since the first days of the war. These pressures have no impact. Sometimes we factor in certain political circumstances; as I said, we give political action an opportunity so that there is no pretext, but when all these opportunities are exhausted, military action becomes necessary in order to save civilians, because I cannot save civilians when they are under the control of the militants. Western logic is an intentionally and maliciously up-side-down logic. It says that the military operation should be stopped in order to protect civilians, whilst for them the presence of civilians under the authority of terrorists constitutes a form of protection for the civilians. The opposite is actually true. The military intervention aims at protecting the civilians, by leaving civilians under the authority of terrorists you extend a service to terrorists and take part in killing civilians.”
An entirely logical and in fact laudable response. Though obviously not in the “intentionally and maliciously up-side-down logic” of the West.
What more can I say?