"Bashar al-Assad is a dictator, like his father"11.07.2012 | 18:44
Today in Moscow, a meeting of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) with Sergey Lavrov took place. And on Monday, delegation of another Syrian opposition movement "Democratic Tribune" visited the building of Russian Foreign Ministry. What do the opponents of Bashar al-Assad expect from the Russian authorities and what do they want to tell them? A scientist Omar Shaar, a representative of the Syrian opposition in Moscow, talked with GTimes about this.
Visit of the SNC delegation to the Russian Foreign Ministry was the second meeting of the opposition with Sergey Lavrov. Russian FM received the first opposition delegation on July 9. The head of the previous delegation was Michel Kilo, the head of the movement "Democratic Tribune". He met with Lavrov and with the Permanent Representative of the RF President in the Middle East by Michael Bogdanov. Other leaders spoke of the "Democratic Tribune" also met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Like Kilo, they are representatives of the Syrian intellectuals. Michel Kilo is Orthodox Christian and an important figure in Syrian politics. GTimes talked with the Syrian scientist Omar Shaar about the significance of these meetings.
- Tell us about those opposition members who communicate with Lavrov today.
- The head of the SNC delegation Abdulbasit Sayda is Chairman of the SNC. He is accompanied by the former chairman of the SNC Burhan Ghalioun. The delegation includes the Chairman of the People's Democratic Party of Syria George Sabra. Sabra, like Kilo, is Orthodox Christian. Riyadh Turk, the spiritual leader of the Syrian Revolution, a true Communist, also came to Moscow. In addition to these people, the high-principled communists, the delegation includes the representative of a major Syrian capital, Damascus dynasty of industrialists, Riyad Seif.
- What does the opposition expect from the Russian authorities?
- We do not want the meeting in the Foreign Ministry to have protocol nature. We want Lavrov to discuss with us the ways out of crisis. Yesterday I talked to George Sabra, Basma Kodmani and Burhan Ghalioun all the night. My companions with one voice say they are waiting from Russia an initiative, concrete proposals on Syria. "Non-interference", "dialogue" - this is the past stage.
Events are moving very rapidly, Syrian society is polarized. Bashar believes that only he has the right to dictate to the people conditions of peaceful dialogue. Assad is one of the main causes of the crisis. His leaving is necessary for Syrian people.
- Is it to blame Assad, not the special services of Syria, the mainstay of the regime?
- Special services - this is a big problem. It all started in the 80s, when Hafez al-Assad became seriously ill and was in a coma for three months. Having come out of the coma, he ruled the country by telephone from his office. In domestic policy, Hafez relied solely on special services. He trusted only to them and nobody else. Meanwhile, Syrian security forces terrorized people, were engaged in racketeering and smuggling of weapons. But the Assad family was absolutely disinterested in this. Totally, in Syria there are about 17 different special services. Desk management of Hafez Assad led to the fact that each of these special services became mafia octopus. These mafias are vying with each other, dividing spheres of influence. For example, military intelligence "Mukhabarat" is fighting against the intelligence of the Ba'ath Party. We initially thought these secret services took control over Bashar Assad and forced him to give criminal orders. But it is not true. Bashar Assad is a dictator such as his father.
- Why you consider Bashar Assad a dictator?
- The Syrian people for a long time appealed to Bashar: "Prove yourself as the leader of a nation and a man! Rise above the interests of the clan, restrain special services!" But Bashar listens no one. There is evidence that he personally signed the orders for mass fusillade of demonstrations, executions of prisoners in jails. One of his last speeches was shocking. He said: "I am a doctor by profession. And a doctor, when he enters the operating room, must cut and bleed". What does this statement show? The fact is that his hands are in blood and he does not feel remorse.