Syrian president says his country’s military industry was developed enough and chemical arms are no longer needed against Israeli military attacks.
Speaking to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, Bashar al-Assad said his government is totally ready to participate in Russia-brokered Geneva II talks, but he expressed doubt over the participation of such peace conference.
Referring to the uselessness of chemical arms’ usage in this era, Assad said he no longer saw chemical weapons as necessary, explaining that even without his arsenal of chemical gases, he could still resist against Zionist regime attack
Assad said Syria’s advanced missile capabilities were sufficient to deter Israel militarily and therefore he did not need the chemical stockpile.
In fact, he said, Syria stopped manufacturing chemical weapons back in 1997, replacing them with conventional missiles “which are the determining factor on the ground.”
“It is enough to control Israel’s airports with firepower in order to paralyze it,” Assad said. Easily treatable medically, chemical weapons had more of a psychological effect on Israelis than a physical one, he added.
The UN has tasked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to rid Syria of its stockpile by mid-2014. Twenty-seven OPCW inspectors are currently in Syria on mission to inspect over 20 suspected chemical weapons sites across the country.
Assad also blasted the leaders of the Arab world for siding with the West in his opposition.
“No Arab official ever contacted us trying to mediate or offering an Arab solution proposal,” Assad said. The West, he added, “was more dignified in dealing with us than some of the Arabs.”
“Even the conventional military industry, which used to be geared against Israel, is now directed at the domestic enemies. This too is a loss,” Assad remarked of his domestic military complex, adding jokingly that he is more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, this year’s winner.