Syrian President Bashar al Assad, in an interview to German news magazine Der Spiegel, denied using chemical weapons against his people and the opposition groups. He also discussed the role of Western countries in Syria.
While he reinforced his belief that the Syrian rebel groups were mainly al-Qaeda terrorists, Assad admitted that he had also committed some mistakes as a leader.
“Personal mistakes by individuals happened. We all make mistakes. Even a president makes mistakes. But even if mistakes were made in the execution, our fundamental decisions were right,” he told Spiegel.
Assad said his regime was open to inspections for chemical weapons. He reiterated that it was not his forces that carried out the alleged massacre of civilians on August 21.
“We did not use chemical weapons. This is a misstatement. So is the picture you paint of me as a man who kills his own people,” he said.
It is a well-established fact that the rebel groups in Syria that started off as Arab Spring protesters have been infiltrated by factions of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. Addressing the United States’ support for the rebel fighters, Assad said:
“It seems to me that the West is more confident in al-Qaida than me.”
While Assad criticized the United States for its role in the Syrian crisis, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Syrian government’s compliance with the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for the elimination of the weapons.