Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he is ‘not concerned’ about a draft resolution submitted by the United States, France and the UK to the UN Security Council to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control.
On September 14, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal under which Syria must account for its chemical weapons stockpiles within a week and see them eliminated by the middle of 2014. Syria has agreed to the deal. Representatives from the five permanent members of the Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – met on September 19 for a third day to discuss the draft resolution that is aimed to make the deal legally binding. The draft makes references to possible measures – sanctions and military force – against the Syrian government under Article 7 of the UN Charter. Russia has censured the West over the references. “I am not concerned. Since its independence, Syria has been committed to all the treaties it has signed. We will honor everything that we have agreed to do,” President Assad was quoted by China’s CCTV on Monday.
“And more importantly, I want to say, by submitting the draft to the UN Security Council, or by urging the US and Russia to agree on a deal, the US, France, and Britain are just trying to make themselves winners in a war against Syria which is their imaginary enemy,” Assad stated.
He said Syria keeps chemical weapons as it has been in a state of war, with some of its land occupied for more than 40 years by the Israeli regime.
“We are a nation at war, we’ve got territories that have been occupied for more than 40 years, but in any case, the Syrian army is trained to fight using conventional weapons,” the Syrian president said.
On August 21, the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syria opposition claimed that over a thousand people had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus. Western powers intensified the rhetoric afterward.
However, Damascus categorically rejects the allegation and says the fatal attack was carried out by the militants to draw in foreign intervention.
President Assad also stated that Syria’s chemical weapons are not likely to fall into the hands of militants as they are “in a safe place that is secure and under the control of the Syrian army.”
The Syrian president said it was likely that the militants could hinder the access of chemical weapons inspectors to sites where the weapons were stored and made.
“We know that these terrorists are obeying the orders of other countries and these countries do drive these terrorists to commit acts that could get the Syrian government blamed for hindering this agreement.”