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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

At UN, Syrian Minister says 'well-known' countries to blame for spread of terrorism in region and beyond

24 September 2016 – The blood of Syrians has not been enough to quench terrorism's thirst, Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Moualem told the United Nations today, stressing that the scourge has claimed lives in other countries, "including those that have supported and sponsored it," and further, these innocent people are now paying for the mistakes and short-sighted policies adopted by their governments.

"For more than five years, the Syrian people, no matter their affiliations, have paid dearly for the crimes of terrorists who have shed the blood of Syrians and undermined their security, stability, and livelihoods, Mr. Al-Moualem told delegations gathered for the Assembly's annual debate, warning that the scourge is continuing to spread beyond Syria's borders.

He went on to say that terrorism would not have spread through Syria if it had not been for the external support of well-known countries. "It is no longer a secret that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have played a part in this, promoting their Wahabist Takfirist ideology and their death fatwas that have nothing to do with Islam. They have bragged about supporting terrorism in every way," he declared.

"Meanwhile, Turkey has opened its border to let in tens of thousands of terrorists from all around the world and has provided them with logistical support and training camps under the supervision of Turkish and Western intelligence. It has even supplied these terrorists with direct military support, as was the case in Idlib, Aleppo and rural Latakia, Mr. Al-Moualem added.

Referring to a recent study, he said the more than 360,000 foreign terrorists from 83 countries have entered Syria since April 2011. By the end of 2015, the Syrian Army was able to kill 95,000 of those, while 120,000 returned home or travelled to other countries.

"We, in Syria, are combating terrorism on behalf of the whole world. Every time the Syrian Army kills another foreign terrorist, it spares the lives of many innocent people who could have died in a terrorist act carried out by the same terrorist upon returning to his country," he argued.

Mr. Al-Moualem went on to say that the terrorist campaign against my country is taking place in full view of a polarized world, with those who have chosen to support international law and the principles of the UN Charter, at odds with those who have decided to turn a blind eye to the truth and to support, finance and arm terrorists, under false pretexts that depart from logic and reason. "Some consider people who take up arms against the state and its citizens 'legitimate opposition,' as long as they are in Syria, while the exact same people, on any other day and in another country, would be considered terrorists, or at least outlaws," he declared.

Despite all this, "our belief in victory is even greater now that the Syrian Army is making great strides in its war against terrorism, with the support of the true friends of the Syrian people, notably the Russian Federation, Iran, and the Lebanese national resistance," he said, stressing that while Syria would welcome all such support to combater terrorism, it must be coordinated with eth Government.

"In this regard, the Syrian government condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack launched by American warplanes on a Syrian Army site in the vicinity of the Deir ez Zor Airport on 17 September, which allowed the [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL] to gain control of the site. The Syrian government holds the United States fully responsible for this aggression, because facts show that it was an intentional attack," he said, also condemning Turkey's "incursion into Syrian territories under the pretext of countering terrorism," calling it "flagrant aggression" that must be stopped immediately.

He said that since the outbreak of the crisis in 2011, the Syrian Government has declared that any solution must follow two parallel tracks: a counter-terrorism track and a political track, through an intra-Syrian dialogue that allows Syrians to determine the future of their country without foreign interference," he explained, rejecting any solutions "dictated from the outside."

"Likewise, any political solution will not succeed in the absence of the necessary foundations and conditions for its implementation, including intensified counter-terrorism efforts and progress in the national reconciliation process, which has proven successful in a number of areas around Syria," Mr. Al-Moualem added.

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