Syria’s bloody civil war is almost over, with Arab and Western delegations readying to resume diplomatic ties, a confident President Bashar al-Assad told a Kuwaiti newspaper Wednesday.
The interview with the little-known Al-Shahed newspaper was Assad’s first with a Gulf media outlet since hostilities began in March 2011. He said Syria has reached a “major understanding” with Arab states after combat with rebel forces had fractured his country’s regional ties.
In his interview with journalist Sheikh Sabah Al-Mohammad, the Syrian president lashed out at global media outlets he claims are distorting the image of the Middle East in general and his country in particular.
Assad commended Kuwait and its leader, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who he called an “honorable man” before promising Syria would be reentering Arab politics and return to its “Arab role.”
The Syrian leader, who now controls over 60 percent of Syria with strong Russian and pro-Iranian military support, stressed that once the conflict is over, Syria will reopen its doors to the people of region in order to boost its tourism.
The self-assured tone used by the Syria leader comes after he declared victory in July over the rebel forces in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in southern Syria, and in the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra.
It defies the accusations made against him that the Syrian regime used genocide and ethnic cleansing tactics against rebel opponents, performed with missiles, barrel bombs, chlorine gas and Sarin gas, all particularly targeting women and children, as well as schools, markets, and hospitals.
The ongoing violence against civilians has been condemned by the Arab League, the European Union, the United States and other countries.
As of April 2018, more than 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and more than 6 million people are displaced internally.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, estimates about 511,000 people have been killed overall in the Syrian war since it began seven years ago.
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