WWIII Already Unleashed by West, Being Waged in Format of Proxy War: Assad
Story Code : 1047116
"I believe that World War III is underway, but it differs in its form," the Syrian president said. "What I mean is that world wars used to be conventional in the past. Armies of several states were fighting against each other."
"This is also true when it comes to the current situation, but because of modern weaponry, especially nuclear, it is different from conventional war. That is why wars are now moving toward proxy wars," he added.
Assad noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is now waging a war on behalf of the West, using "its army of Nazis."
"The same goes for terrorists, they are the armies operating on behalf of the West in Syria and other regions," the president continued.
Switching gears to the matter of the 2022 referendums held in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, the Syrian president told Sputnik that Damascus fully recognizes the new borders of Russia.
"Of course. I am saying that these are Russian territories," Assad said when asked whether Damascus recognizes Russia's new borders. "And even if the war had not happened, this is historically Russian land."
The president recalled that Syria recognized the regions before they officially became part of Russia.
"This issue has been clear to us from the very beginning, and we will not hesitate in our position. Syria's position is clear and firm, at the same time. We are convinced regarding this matter not only for the sake of friendship with Russia but also because these territories are Russia's territories," Assad said.
He added that Syria's position is based on historical facts.
"They [the regions] were handed over to Ukraine probably around 100 years ago, I believe, [it happened] under Lenin. But Russian people live there, and facts on the ground show that this is Russia's land. We are convinced in this position," the president said.
The people of Syria support Russia in conducting the special military operation in Ukraine, Assad emphasized.
"Certainly, the Syrian people are very enthusiastic about supporting Russia for a number of reasons. On the one hand, it is solidarity since the Russian Federation has supported the Syrians in the fight against terrorism; on the other hand, there is a more global view of this war ... When the Russian Federation wins this war, as most Syrians wish, a new world, a safer and more peaceful world will emerge. This is the real perception of the Syrians of this war," Assad said.
On Russian Military Bases in Syria
Russian military bases in Syria should have the most advanced weapons to ensure effective deterrence of threats, President Assad also said.
"The difference is in the quality of weapons, but the principle is the same. Of course, if you are to build [military] bases, the goal is not to make these bases weak militarily. The bases are supposed to be capable of having a deterrent or counterbalancing effect, these must be armed with the best weapons, it is natural and logical. Whether it would be hypersonic missiles or any other more advanced weapons now and, in the future, the principle is, of course, the same as I said," Assad said when asked about the possible deployment of hypersonic missiles in Syria.
The Syrian President believes that Russia's military presence in Syria should not be temporary or be related to fighting terrorism only.
"As for the political aspect, the issue of military bases should not be linked to the issue of combating terrorism. The fight against terrorism is today's topic, but it is temporary. The Russian military presence in any country should not be based on anything temporary. We are talking about international balance, and the presence of Russia in Syria has a meaning related to the balance of power in the world as a country located on the Mediterranean Sea," the president said.
"Superpowers today cannot defend themselves or play their role by staying within their own borders," Assad said, adding that "they must go beyond them through regional allies around the world or through bases."
On Economic Cooperation With Russia
Russia and Syria will sign an agreement on economic cooperation, which will cover several projects that will be evaluated and approved individually, in the coming weeks, the Syrian president added.
"Projects are being considered now, and the agreement will be signed later, in a few weeks, but this item [on the agenda] was left for consideration by each company and each project. Each project will be evaluated individually later. This is a part of the mechanism to monitor the projects and their success," Assad said.
The president added that a joint Syrian-Russian commission has been discussing a number of projects during talks in Moscow over the past several days.
"Once the agreement is signed, these projects will be announced, after which all interested companies will be able to apply to participate in these projects," the president said, adding that the actual cost of the projects will be known at that time.