Assad Denies Ordering Crackdown, Says Only Crazy Man Would Order That
As the international human rights observers say that on Tuesday alone some 50 people were killed in the restive city of Homs, in central Syria, with 34 bodies left in the streets, president of the Syrian republic Bashar al-Assad is giving interviews to the Western media, saying that he had no involvement in the crackdown in his country, that it was not him who ordered it, and that the majority of the victims of the nine-month unrest are the people in the military and the security forces.
In an interview for the ABC News Bashar said that most of the people who died over the last year in confrontations in the streets of the large cities were supporters of the government not protesters. He advanced the number of 1,100 soldiers and police killed thus attempting to build the argument that the regime merely responded to a violence surge caused by “armed thugs” who were instructed by foreign countries.
Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution, Assad has continuously affirmed that in the streets of Syria it was the armed gangs of thugs controlled by foreign powers who created trouble.
In the interview Assad passed the entire responsibility of the crackdown on the actions of individual police officers and soldiers, by saying that there was a difference between the abuses and the brutal actions of an individual and the actions of an institution.
When confronted with the allegation that in order for the police and soldiers to act against the people they must have had orders from him, Bashar al-Assad said his regime did not shoot the people of Syria, and that only a crazy person would order that.
Speaking about the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution condemning the killing of 4,000 people since the unrest started, Assad asked: “Who says the UN is a credible institution?”
As for the sanctions imposed by the Arab League, the Syrian president said that his country had been under sanctions for 35 years and that this set of sanctions did not make any difference.
He also said that the presidential elections, now set for 2014 after earlier in the year they were promised in February 2012, cannot be rushed. Assad added that a set of reforms are being implemented in the country.
Asked if he felt guilty for the loss of lives, Assad said it was not about guilt, and that he had nothing to feel guilty about considering that everything he did was for the protection of his people, and that personally he killed no one.11