US Missile attack in Syria shows lack of US interest in keeping promises - Assad

18:56   21 April 2017    442

US President Donald Trump was initially "promising" until he attacked a Syrian military airfield this month, demonstrating that Washington is not committed to promises, Syrian President Bashar Assad told.

During his election campaign and after winning the election, Trump criticized the Barack Obama administration Syria policy, saying that the fight against terrorism, not removing Assad should be the priority of Washington.

However, on April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in Ash Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city of Homs. US President Donald Trump said the attack was a response to the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria's Idlib, which Washington blames on the Syrian government. Russia described the attack as an aggression against a sovereign state.

"We tried to see anything positive, we said that what this president, Trump, what he said, we said 'promising,' I described it as promising, a few months ago," Assad said.
He noted that the April 7 US Tomahawk missile strike on the Sha'irat air base in Idlib province proves that "they say something and they do something different."

"But actually, it's not about what they promise, because we all know that the American officials say something and do something different, they're never committed to their promises or their words," Assad asserted.

Assad told Sputnik that Damascus would be ready to cooperate with US President Donald Trump, if the United States changed its policy toward Syria.

"So, in politics you don't say "I wouldn't do this." Whenever there is a window of hope that this state or this regime can change its attitude toward respecting your sovereignty, toward more preventing of any blood-letting in your country, you have to cooperate. It's not a personal relation, it's not hate and love; it's the interest of your own people. So, I cannot say this escalation has changed anything, because this escalation is the real expression of the reality of the American regime that's been there for decades, it's not new for the United States to do such a thing, but you need to deal with the United States as a great country, at least to make it refrain from any harmful effects. Generally, I'm not talking only about Syria. When they change their behavior, we are ready, we don't have a problem," Assad said.

There are currently no channels of cooperation between Damascus and the US administration, he said.

"Not really, we don't have any channel now between Syria and the United States regime or administration, we don't have," Assad said.

He, however, stressed that "you need to deal with the United States as a great country, at least to make it refrain from any harmful effects. Generally, I'm not talking only about Syria. When they change their behavior, we are ready, we don't have a problem."

On April 4, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces blamed the Syrian government for the alleged chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun. Damascus denied any involvement in the Idlib incident, while the Syrian army said it did not possess chemical weapons as they were destroyed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Western powers condemned Damascus, while Russia insisted on a proper investigation and said the incident was likely the result of an airstrike on a militant weapons cache rather than a deliberate attack.

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