Al-Manar: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Assalamu
Alaikum. Bloodshed in Syria continues unabated. This is the only constant over
which there is little disagreement between those loyal to the Syrian state and
those opposed to it. However, there is no common ground over the other constants
and details two years into the current crisis. At the time, a great deal was
said about the imminent fall of the regime. Deadlines were set and missed; and
all those bets were lost.
Today, we are here in the heart of Damascus, enjoying the hospitality of a
president who has become a source of consternation to many of his opponents who
are still unable to understand the equations that have played havoc with their
calculations and prevented his ouster from the Syrian political scene.
This unpleasant and unexpected outcome for his opponents upset their schemes and
plots because they didn’t take into account one self-evident question: what
happens if the regime doesn’t fall? What if President Assad doesn’t leave the
Syrian scene? Of course, there are no clear answers; and the result is more
destruction, killing and bloodshed.
Today there is talk of a critical juncture for Syria. The Syrian Army has moved
from defense to attack, achieving one success after another. On a parallel
level, stagnant diplomatic waters have been shaken by discussions over a Geneva
2 conference becoming a recurrent theme in the statements of all parties. There
are many questions which need answers: political settlement, resorting to the
military option to decide the outcome, the Israeli enemy’s direct interference
with the course of events in the current crisis, the new equations on the Golan
Heights, the relationship with opponents and friends.
What is the Syrian leadership’s plan for a way out of a complex and dangerous
crisis whose ramifications have started to spill over into neighboring
countries? It is our great pleasure tonight to put these questions to H. E.
President Bashar al-Assad. Assalamu Alaikum, Mr. President.

President Assad: Assalamu Alaikum. You are most welcome in Damascus.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, we are in the heart of the People’s Palace, two and a
half years into the Syrian crisis. At the time, the bet was that the president
and his regime would be overthrown within weeks. How have you managed to foil
the plots of your opponents and enemies? What is the secret behind this

President Assad: There are a number of factors are involved. One is the Syrian
factor, which thwarted their intentions; the other factor is related to those
who masterminded these scenarios and ended up defeating themselves because they
do not know Syria or understand in detail the situation.
They started with the calls of revolution, but a real revolution requires
tangible elements; you cannot create a revolution simply by paying money. When
this approach failed, they shifted to using sectarian slogans in order to create
a division within our society. Even though they were able to infiltrate certain
pockets in Syrian society, pockets of ignorance and lack of awareness that exist
in any society, they were not able to create this sectarian division. Had they
succeeded, Syria would have been divided up from the beginning. They also fell
into their own trap by trying to promote the notion that this was a struggle to
maintain power rather than a struggle for national sovereignty. No one would
fight and martyr themselves in order to secure power for anyone else.

Al-Manar: In the battle for the homeland, it seems that the Syrian leadership,
and after two and a half years, is making progress on the battlefield. And here
if I might ask you, why have you chosen to move from defense to attack? And
don’t you think that you have been late in taking the decision to go on the
offensive, and consequently incurred heavy losses, if we take of Al-Qseir as an

President Assad: It is not a question of defense or attack. Every battle has its
own tactics. From the beginning, we did not deal with each situation from a
military perspective alone. We also factored in the social and political aspects
as well - many Syrians were misled in the beginning and there were many friendly
countries that didn’t understand the domestic dynamics. Your actions will differ
according to how much consensus there is over a particular issue. There is no
doubt that as events have unfolded Syrians have been able to better understand
the situation and what is really at stake. This has helped the Armed Forces to
better carry out their duties and achieve results. So, what is happening now is
not a shift in tactic from defense to attack, but rather a shift in the balance
of power in favor of the Armed Forces.

Al-Manar: How has this balance been tipped, Mr. President? Syria is being
criticized for asking for the assistance of foreign fighters, and to be fully
candid, it is said that Hezbollah fighters are extending assistance. In a
previous interview, you said that there are 23 million Syrians; we do not need
help from anyone else. What is Hezbollah doing in Syria?

President Assad: The main reason for tipping the balance is the change in
people’s opinion in areas that used to incubate armed groups, not necessarily
due to lack of patriotism on their part, but because they were deceived. They
were led to believe that there was a revolution against the failings of the
state. This has changed; many individuals have left these terrorist groups and
have returned to their normal lives.
As to what is being said about Hezbollah and the participation of foreign
fighters alongside the Syrian Army, this is a hugely important issue and has
several factors. Each of these factors should be clearly understood. Hezbollah,
the battle at Al-Qseir and the recent Israeli airstrike – these three factors
cannot be looked at in isolation of the other, they are all a part of the same
Let’s be frank. In recent weeks, and particularly after Mr. Hasan Nasrallah’s
speech, Arab and foreign media have said that Hezbollah fighters are fighting in
Syria and defending the Syrian state, or to use their words “the regime.”
Logically speaking, if Hezbollah or the resistance wanted to defend Syria by
sending fighters, how many could they send - a few hundred, a thousand or two?
We are talking about a battle in which hundreds of thousands of Syrian troops
are involved against tens of thousands of terrorists, if not more because of the
constant flow of fighters from neighboring and foreign countries that support
those terrorists. So clearly, the number of fighters Hezbollah might contribute
in order to defend the Syrian state in its battle, would be a drop in the ocean
compared to the number of Syrian soldiers fighting the terrorists. When also
taking into account the vast expanse of Syria, these numbers will neither
protect a state nor ‘regime.’
This is from one perspective. From another, if they say they are defending the
state, why now? Battles started after Ramadan in 2011 and escalated into 2012,
the summer of 2012 to be precise. They started the battle to “liberate Damascus”
and set a zero hour for the first time, the second time and a third time; the
four generals were assassinated, a number of individuals fled Syria, and many
people believed that was the time the state would collapse. It didn’t.
Nevertheless, during all of these times, Hezbollah never intervened, so why
would it intervene now? More importantly, why haven’t we seen Hezbollah fighting
in Damascus and Aleppo? The more significant battles are in Damascus and in
Aleppo, not in Al-Qseir. Al-Qseir is a small town in Homs, why haven’t we seen
Hezbollah in the city of Homs? Clearly, all these assumptions are inaccurate.
They say Al-Qseir is a strategic border town, but all the borders are strategic
for the terrorists in order to smuggle in their fighters and weapons. So, all
these propositions have nothing to do with Hezbollah. If we take into account
the moans and groans of the Arab media, the statements made by Arab and foreign
officials – even Ban Ki-moon expressed concern over Hezbollah in Al-Qseir – all
of this is for the objective of suppressing and stifling the resistance. It has
nothing to do with defending the Syrian state. The Syrian army has made
significant achievements in Damascus, Aleppo, rural Damascus and many other
areas; however, we haven’t heard the same moaning as we have heard in Al-Qseir.

Al-Manar: But, Mr. President, the nature of the battle that you and Hezbollah
are waging in Al-Qseir seems, to your critics, to take the shape of a safe
corridor connecting the coastal region with Damascus. Consequently, if Syria
were to be divided, or if geographical changes were to be enforced, this would
pave the way for an Alawite state. So, what is the nature of this battle, and
how is it connected with the conflict with Israel.

President Assad: First, the Syrian and Lebanese coastal areas are not connected
through Al-Qseir. Geographically this is not possible. Second, nobody would
fight a battle in order to move towards separation. If you opt for separation,
you move towards that objective without waging battles all over the country in
order to be pushed into a particular corner. The nature of the battle does not
indicate that we are heading for division, but rather the opposite, we are
ensuring we remain a united country. Our forefathers rejected the idea of
division when the French proposed this during their occupation of Syria because
at the time they were very aware of its consequences. Is it possible or even
fathomable that generations later, we their children, are less aware or mindful?
Once again, the battle in Al-Qseir and all the bemoaning is related to Israel.
The timing of the battle in Al-Qseir was synchronized with the Israeli
airstrike. Their objective is to stifle the resistance. This is the same old
campaign taking on a different form. Now what’s important is not al-Qseir as a
town, but the borders; they want to stifle the resistance from land and from the
sea. Here the question begs itself - some have said that the resistance should
face the enemy and consequently remain in the south. This was said on May 7,
2008, when some of Israel’s agents in Lebanon tried to tamper with the
communications system of the resistance; they claimed that the resistance turned
its weapons inwards. They said the same thing about the Syrian Army; that the
Syrian Army should fight on the borders with Israel. We have said very clearly
that our Army will fight the enemy wherever it is. When the enemy is in the
north, we move north; the same applies if the enemy comes from the east or the
west. This is also the case for Hezbollah. So the question is why is Hezbollah
deployed on the borders inside Lebanon or inside Syria? The answer is that our
battle is a battle against the Israeli enemy and its proxies inside Syria or
inside Lebanon.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, if I might ask about Israel’s involvement in the Syrian
crisis through the recent airstrike against Damascus. Israel immediately
attached certain messages to this airstrike by saying it doesn’t want escalation
or doesn’t intend to interfere in the Syrian crisis. The question is: what does
Israel want and what type of interference?

President Assad: This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the
moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance. Israel’s
support of the terrorists was for two purposes. The first is to stifle the
resistance; the second is to strike the Syrian air defense systems. It is not
interested in anything else.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, since Israel’s objectives are clear, the Syrian state
was criticized for its muted response. Everyone was expecting a Syrian response,
and the Syrian government stated that it reserves the right to respond at the
appropriate time and place. Why didn’t the response come immediately? And is it
enough for a senior source to say that missiles have been directed at the
Israeli enemy and that any attack will be retaliated immediately without
resorting to Army command?

President Assad: We have informed all the Arab and foreign parties - mostly
foreign - that contacted us, that we will respond the next time. Of course,
there has been more than one response. There have been several Israeli attempted
violations to which there was immediate retaliation. But these short-term
responses have no real value; they are only of a political nature. If we want to
respond to Israel, the response will be of strategic significance.

Al-Manar: How? By opening the Golan front, for instance?

President Assad: This depends on public opinion, whether there is a consensus in
support of the resistance or not. That’s the question.

Al-Manar: How is the situation in Syria now?

President Assad: In fact, there is clear popular pressure to open the Golan
front to resistance. This enthusiasm is also on the Arab level; we have received
many Arab delegations wanting to know how young people might be enrolled to come
and fight Israel. Of course, resistance is not easy. It is not merely a question
of opening the front geographically. It is a political, ideological, and social
issue, with the net result being military action.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, if we take into account the incident on the Golan
Heights and Syria’s retaliation on the Israeli military vehicle that crossed the
combat line, does this mean that the rules of engagement have changed? And if
the rules of the game have changed, what is the new equation, so to speak?

President Assad: Real change in the rules of engagement happens when there is a
popular condition pushing for resistance. Any other change is short-term, unless
we are heading towards war. Any response of any kind might only appear to be a
change to the rules of engagement, but I don’t think it really is. The real
change is when the people move towards resistance; this is the really dramatic

Al-Manar: Don’t you think that this is a little late? After 40 years of quiet
and a state of truce on the Golan Heights, now there is talk of a movement on
that front, about new equations and about new rules of the game?

President Assad: They always talk about Syria opening the front or closing the
front. A state does not create resistance. Resistance can only be called so,
when it is popular and spontaneous, it cannot be created. The state can either
support or oppose the resistance, - or create obstacles, as is the case with
some Arab countries. I believe that a state that opposes the will of its people
for resistance is reckless. The issue is not that Syria has decided, after 40
years, to move in this direction. The public’s state of mind is that our
National Army is carrying out its duties to protect and liberate our land. Had
there not been an army, as was the situation in Lebanon when the army and the
state were divided during the civil war, there would have been resistance a long
time ago. Today, in the current circumstances, there are a number of factors
pushing in that direction. First, there are repeated Israeli aggressions that
constitute a major factor in creating this desire and required incentive.
Second, the army’s engagement in battles in more than one place throughout Syria
has created a sentiment on the part of many civilians that it is their duty to
move in this direction in order to support the Armed Forces on the Golan.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not hesitate
to attack Syria if it detected that weapons are being conveyed to Hezbollah in
Lebanon. If Israel carried out its threats, I want a direct answer from you:
what would Syria do?

President Assad: As I have said, we have informed the relevant states that we
will respond in kind. Of course, it is difficult to specify the military means
that would be used, that is for our military command to decide. We plan for
different scenarios, depending on the circumstances and the timing of the strike
that would determine which method or weapons.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, after the airstrike that targeted Damascus, there was
talk about the S300 missiles and that this missile system will tip the balance.
Based on this argument, Netanyahu visited Moscow. My direct question is this:
are these missiles on their way to Damascus? Is Syria now in possession of these

President Assad: It is not our policy to talk publically about military issues
in terms of what we possess or what we receive. As far as Russia is concerned,
the contracts have nothing to do with the crisis. We have negotiated with them
on different kinds of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to honoring
these contracts. What I want to say is that neither Netanyahu’s visit nor the
crisis and the conditions surrounding it have influenced arms imports. All of
our agreements with Russia will be implemented, some have been implemented
during the past period and, together with the Russians, we will continue to
implement these contracts in the future.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, we have talked about the steadfastness of the Syrian
leadership and the Syrian state. We have discussed the progress being achieved
on the battlefield, and strengthening the alliance between Syria and the
resistance. These are all within the same front. From another perspective, there
is diplomatic activity stirring waters that have been stagnant for two and a
half years. Before we talk about this and about the Geneva conference and the
red lines that Syria has drawn, there was a simple proposition or a simple
solution suggested by the former head of the coalition, Muaz al-Khatib. He said
that the president, together with 500 other dignitaries would be allowed to
leave the country within 20 days, and the crisis would be over. Why don’t you
meet this request and put an end to the crisis?

President Assad: I have always talked about the basic principle: that the Syrian
people alone have the right to decide whether the president should remain or
leave. So, anybody speaking on this subject should state which part of the
Syrian people they represent and who granted them the authority to speak on
their behalf. As for this initiative, I haven’t actually read it, but I was very
happy that they allowed me 20 days and 500 people! I don’t know who proposed the
initiative; I don’t care much about names.

Al-Manar: He actually said that you would be given 20 days, 500 people, and no
guarantees. You’ll be allowed to leave but with no guarantee whatsoever on
whether legal action would be taken against you or not.
Mr. President, this brings us to the negotiations, I am referring to Geneva 2.
The Syrian government and leadership have announced initial agreement to take
part in this conference. If this conference is held, there will be a table with
the Syrian flag on one side and the flag of the opposition groups on the other.
How can you convince the Syrian people after two and a half years of crisis that
you will sit face to face at the same negotiating table with these groups?

President Assad: First of all, regarding the flag, it is meaningless without the
people it represents. When we put a flag on a table or anywhere else, we talk
about the people represented by that flag. This question can be put to those who
raise flags they call Syrian but are different from the official Syrian flag.
So, this flag has no value when it does not represent the people.
Secondly, we will attend this conference as the official delegation and
legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. But, whom do they represent?
When the conference is over, we return to Syria, we return home to our people.
But when the conference is over, whom do they return to - five-star hotels? Or
to the foreign ministries of the states that they represent – which doesn’t
include Syria of course - in order to submit their reports? Or do they return to
the intelligence services of those countries?
So, when we attend this conference, we should know very clearly the positions of
some of those sitting at the table - and I say some because the conference
format is not clear yet and as such we do not have details as to how the
patriotic Syrian opposition will be considered or the other opposition parties
in Syria. As for the opposition groups abroad and their flag, we know that we
are attending the conference not to negotiate with them, but rather with the
states that back them; it will appear as though we are negotiating with the
slaves, but essentially we are negotiating with their masters. This is the
truth, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves.

Al-Manar: Are you, in the Syrian leadership, convinced that these negotiations
will be held next month?

President Assad: We expect them to happen, unless they are obstructed by other
states. As far as we are concerned in Syria, we have announced a couple of days
ago that we agree in principle to attend.

Al-Manar: When you say in principle, it seems that you are considering other

President Assad: In principle, we are in favour of the conference as a notion,
but there are no details yet. For example, will there be conditions placed
before the conference? If so, these conditions may be unacceptable and we would
not attend. So the idea of the conference, of a meeting, in principle is a good
one. We will have to wait and see.

Al-Manar: Let’s talk, Mr. President, about the conditions put by the Syrian
leadership. What are Syria’s conditions?

President Assad: Simply put, our only condition is that anything agreed upon in
any meeting inside or outside the country, including the conference, is subject
to the approval of the Syrian people through a popular referendum. This is the
only condition. Anything else doesn’t have any value. That is why we are
comfortable with going to the conference. We have no complexes. Either side can
propose anything, but nothing can be implemented without the approval of the
Syrian people. And as long as we are the legitimate representatives of the
people, we have nothing to fear.

Al-Manar: Let’s be clear, Mr. President. There is a lot of ambiguity in Geneva 1
and Geneva 2 about the transitional period and the role of President Bashar
al-Assad in that transitional period. Are you prepared to hand over all your
authorities to this transitional government? And how do you understand this
ambiguous term?

President Assad: This is what I made clear in the initiative I proposed in
January this year. They say they want a transitional government in which the
president has no role. In Syria we have a presidential system, where the
President is head of the republic and the Prime Minister heads the government.
They want a government with broad authorities. The Syrian constitution gives the
government full authorities. The president is the commander-in-chief of the Army
and Armed Forces and the head of the Supreme Judicial Council. All the other
institutions report directly to the government. Changing the authorities of the
president is subject to changing the constitution; the president cannot just
relinquish his authorities, he doesn’t have the constitutional right. Changing
the constitution requires a popular referendum. When they want to propose such
issues, they might be discussed in the conference, and when we agree on
something - if we agree, we return home and put it to a popular referendum and
then move on. But for them to ask for the amendment of the constitution in
advance, this cannot be done neither by the president nor by the government.

Al-Manar: Frankly, Mr. President, all the international positions taken against
you and all your political opponents said that they don’t want a role for
al-Assad in Syria’s future. This is what the Saudi foreign minister Saud
al-Faisal said and this is what the Turks and the Qataris said, and also the
Syrian opposition. Will President Assad be nominated for the forthcoming
presidential elections in 2014?

President Assad: What I know is that Saud al-Faisal is a specialist in American
affairs, I don’t know if he knows anything about Syrian affairs. If he wants to
learn, that’s fine! As to the desires of others, I repeat what I have said
earlier: the only desires relevant are those of the Syrian people. With regards
to the nomination, some parties have said that it is preferable that the
president shouldn’t be nominated for the 2014 elections. This issue will be
determined closer to the time; it is still too early to discuss this. When the
time comes, and I feel, through my meetings and interactions with the Syrian
people, that there is a need and public desire for me to nominate myself, I will
not hesitate. However, if I feel that the Syrian people do not want me to lead
them, then naturally I will not put myself forward. They are wasting their time
on such talk.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, you mentioned the Saudi foreign minister Saud
al-Faisal. This makes me ask about Syria’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, with
Qatar, with Turkey, particularly if we take into account that their recent
position in the Arab ministerial committee was relatively moderate. They did not
directly and publically call for the ouster of President Assad. Do you feel any
change or any support on the part of these countries for a political solution to
the Syrian crisis? And is Syria prepared to deal once more with the Arab League,
taking into account that the Syrian government asked for an apology from the
Arab League?

President Assad: Concerning the Arab states, we see brief changes in their
rhetoric but not in their actions. The countries that support the terrorists
have not changed; they are still supporting terrorism to the same extent. Turkey
also has not made any positive steps. As for Qatar, their role is also the same,
the role of the funder - the bank funding the terrorists and supporting them
through Turkey. So, overall, no change.
As for the Arab League, in Syria we have never pinned our hopes on the Arab
League. Even in the past decades, we were barely able to dismantle the mines set
for us in the different meetings, whether in the summits or in meetings of the
foreign ministers. So in light of this and its recent actions, can we really
expect it to play a role? We are open to everybody, we never close our doors.
But we should also be realistic and face the truth that they are unable to offer
anything, particularly since a significant number of the Arab states are not
independent. They receive their orders from the outside. Some of them are
sympathetic to us in their hearts, but they cannot act on their feelings because
they are not in possession of their decisions. So, no, we do not pin any hopes
on the Arab League.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, this leads us to ask: if the Arab environment is as
such, and taking into account the developments on the ground and the
steadfastness, the Geneva conference and the negotiations, the basic question
is: what if the political negotiations fail? What are the consequences of the
failure of political negotiations?

President Assad: This is quite possible, because there are states that are
obstructing the meeting in principle, and they are going only to avoid
embarrassment. They are opposed to any dialogue whether inside or outside Syria.
Even the Russians, in several statements, have dampened expectations from this
conference. But we should also be accurate in defining this dialogue,
particularly in relation to what is happening on the ground. Most of the
factions engaged in talking about what is happening in Syria have no influence
on the ground; they don’t even have direct relationships with the terrorists. In
some instances these terrorists are directly linked with the states that are
backing them, in other cases, they are mere gangs paid to carry out terrorist
activities. So, the failure of the conference will not significantly change the
reality inside Syria, because these states will not stop supporting the
terrorists - conference or no conference, and the gangs will not stop their
subversive activities. So it has no impact on them.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, the events in Syria are spilling over to neighboring
countries. We see what’s happening in Iraq, the explosions in Al-Rihaniye in
Turkey and also in Lebanon. In Ersal, Tripoli, Hezbollah taking part in the
fighting in Al-Qseir. How does Syria approach the situation in Lebanon, and do
you think the Lebanese policy of dissociation is still applied or accepted?

President Assad: Let me pose some questions based on the reality in Syria and in
Lebanon about the policy of dissociation in order not to be accused of making a
value judgment on whether this policy is right or wrong. Let’s start with some
simple questions: Has Lebanon been able to prevent Lebanese interference in
Syria? Has it been able to prevent the smuggling of terrorists or weapons into
Syria or providing a safe haven for them in Lebanon? It hasn’t; in fact,
everyone knows that Lebanon has contributed negatively to the Syrian crisis.
Most recently, has Lebanon been able to protect itself against the consequences
of the Syrian crisis, most markedly in Tripoli and the missiles that have been
falling over different areas of Beirut or its surroundings? It hasn’t. So what
kind of dissociation are we talking about?
For Lebanon to dissociate itself from the crisis is one thing, and for the
government to dissociate itself is another. When the government dissociates
itself from a certain issue that affects the interests of the Lebanese people,
it is in fact dissociating itself from the Lebanese citizens. I’m not
criticizing the Lebanese government - I’m talking about general principles. I
don’t want it to be said that I’m criticizing this government. If the Syrian
government were to dissociate itself from issues that are of concern to the
Syrian people, it would also fail.
So in response to your question with regards to Lebanon’s policy of
dissociation, we don’t believe this is realistically possible. When my
neighbor’s house is on fire, I cannot say that it’s none of my business because
sooner or later the fire will spread to my house.

Al-Manar: Mr. President, what would you say to the supporters of the axis of
resistance? We are celebrating the anniversary of the victory of the resistance
and the liberation of south Lebanon, in an atmosphere of promises of victory,
which Mr. Hasan Nasrallah has talked about. You are saying with great confidence
that you will emerge triumphant from this crisis. What would you say to all this
audience? Are we about to reach the end of this dark tunnel?

President Assad: I believe that the greatest victory achieved by the Arab
resistance movements in the past years and decades is primarily an intellectual
victory. This resistance wouldn’t have been able to succeed militarily if they
hadn’t been able to succeed and stand fast against a campaign aimed at
distorting concepts and principles in this region. Before the civil war in
Lebanon, some people used to say that Lebanon’s strength lies in its weakness;
this is similar to saying that a man’s intelligence lies in his stupidity, or
that honor is maintained through corruption. This is an illogical contradiction.
The victories of the resistance at different junctures proved that this concept
is not true, and it showed that Lebanon’s weakness lies in its weakness and
Lebanon’s strength lies in its strength. Lebanon’s strength is in its resistance
and these resistance fighters you referred to. Today, more than ever before, we
are in need of these ideas, of this mindset, of this steadfastness and of these
actions carried out by the resistance fighters. The events in the Arab world
during the past years have distorted concepts to the extent that some Arabs have
forgotten that the real enemy is still Israel and have instead created internal,
sectarian, regional or national enemies. Today we pin our hopes on these
resistance fighters to remind the Arab people, through their achievements, that
our enemy is still the same.
As for my confidence in victory, if we weren’t so confident we wouldn’t have
been able to stand fast or to continue this battle after two years of a global
attack. This is not a tripartite attack like the one in 1956; it is in fact a
global war waged against Syria and the resistance. We have absolute confidence
in our victory, and I assure them that Syria will always remain, even more so
than before, supportive of the resistance and resistance fighters everywhere in
the Arab world.

Al-Manar: In conclusion, it has been my great honor to conduct this interview
with Your Excellency, President Bashar al-Assad of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Thank you very much.

President Assad: You are welcome. I would like to congratulate Al-Manar channel,
the channel of resistance, on the anniversary of the liberation and to
congratulate the Lebanese people and every resistance fighter in Lebanon.

Al-Manar: Thank you.