Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad Claims Meeting with Biden Administration ‘from Time to Time’

Syria President Bashar al-Assad addresses reporters following his meeting with French Pres
Remy de la Mauvinier/AP Photo

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad claimed in an interview on Sunday that his regime has meetings “from time to time” with officials from the Biden administration about withdrawing American forces that are “illegally occupying part of our lands.”

Assad said that “these meetings do not lead to anything,” but “there is always hope” that he might someday mend fences with the U.S. He did not elaborate precisely who attended the meetings or where they were held.

The Syrian ruler made these remarks during a conversation with a Russia-backed Georgian official, which Syria’s state SANA news agency broadcast on Sunday.

In an interview with Russia’s state-controlled Channel One on Sunday, Assad lamented that Western nations have not produced a true “statesman” since Ronald Reagan in the U.S. and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.

“Modern politicians do not think strategically. They solve problems in front of them, and they no longer keep their word. Any agreement can be broken the next day,” he said.

“I can say that there is not a single politician in the West whom I would want to talk to,” he declared.

Assad said this failure of statesmanship is leading more countries to seek alliances with China instead of the U.S. and Europe.

“Today, all countries, including the West and South America, are expanding their relations with China. This is quite logical because the United States is disregarding the interests of its alleged partners, using the dollar as a weapon and a tool of political pressure,” he said.

“Friendship and partnership imply having common interests, but America has only its own interests. That is why relations with this country can be neither stable nor safe,” he said.

The Western world has ostracized and sanctioned Assad since his brutal crackdown on the Syrian opposition blossomed into a full-blown civil war in 2011. Even before that, the U.S. designated Syria a state sponsor of terrorism in 1979, which was during the rule of the current dictator’s father, Hafez Assad.

Assad probably spoke well of China because it was the only power willing to do business with his regime while its list of atrocities grew. The U.S. and its allies imposed what the Treasury Department called “calibrated sanctions” to counter Assad’s “continuing escalation of violence against the people of Syria.”

The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by former President Donald Trump and named after a Syrian photographer who documented Assad’s torture and murder of thousands of prisoners, imposed travel restrictions and financial sanctions against persons or entities that do business with the Syrian regime. Assad and his wife, Asma, were among the first individuals designated for sanctions under the Caesar Act.

As Assad indicated, U.S. troops have been stationed in parts of Syria since 2014, ostensibly to defeat the Islamic State and keep it from reconstituting itself. American forces have worked closely with Kurdish-led militia groups that were indispensable for defeating ISIS but whose loyalty to the central Syrian government is questionable.

Assad has blamed the U.S. presence for obstructing his drive to wipe out the last rebel holdouts and decisively end the Syrian Civil War. Although pockets of resistance remain, the Syrian dictatorship was able to stay in power with military support from Russia and Iran.

On Sunday, five rockets were launched from Iraq at U.S. military bases in Syria. The most powerful of the Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq, Kata’ib Hezbollah, allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack and said it would resume terrorist strikes on American positions because the U.S. was taking too long to withdraw its forces from Syria and Iraq. Kata’ib Hezbollah later denied the statement, calling it “fabricated news.”

Iraqi militias, operating under the umbrella name “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” (IRI), attacked U.S. forces about 170 times after the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. The U.S. retaliated after three American soldiers were killed in Jordan by an IRI drone strike, after which Kata’ib Hezbollah issued a strange statement that said it would suspend attacks on American forces because it did not wish to “embarrass” the central Iraqi government. 


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