Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says an attack by the US is likely despite ongoing peace initiatives by Russia, China and others.
“The possibility of a military offensive will always be present, maybe at one time on the pretext of chemical weapons, and at other times on different pretexts,” he told Caracas-based television network teleSUR late on Wednesday, which broadcasts across Latin America.
“If we take a look at previous (US) wars, at least from the early ’50s, we see that (US) policy is to go from one aggression to the next,” he said, referring to US involvement in conflicts in Korea,Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Not to mention its actions in South America, where it instigated coups and the deaths of millions of people,” he said.
The US has been sidestepping the UN Security Council for decades, violating the UN’s Security Charter, other nations’ sovereignty, and all human and moral values, he said.
He said the US was a “great power,” and that “good relations are possible on condition of mutual respect.” But he questioned whether this could be achieved given the US dissemination of “terrorism, destruction and fear.”
Al-Assad also drew parallels between his country’s position in international politics and those of Latin American socialist nations Venezuela and Cuba.
“The trajectory of Latin America is the same as the one that Arab countries should follow,” he said.
Late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez represented “a path to independence and freedom,” he said. Chavez and Cuba’s former revolutionary and president Fidel Castro “follow the same line, see things from the same perspective, and take the same path.”
Chavez’s successor, current President Nicolas Maduro, also “possesses the tenacity, the energy of our region,” he said.
Chavez, Maduro and Castro have all made their own repeated verbal attacks on the US. Anti-US positions have also been expressed by fellow left-leaning Latin American countries Nicaragua and Bolivia.
Asked about the political consequences in Syria of a US attack, he said such a move would impact the whole of the Middle East.
“The world is a small village, what happens in Syria will affect surrounding countries and the most distant parts of the planet.”