Assad accuses Erdogan of close ties to Muslim Brotherhood

A handout photo made available by Syria's Arab News Agency /SANA/ on 10 May 2018 shows Syrian President Bashar Assad (L) speaking during an interview with the Greek Kathimerini newspaper, in Damascus, Syria. [Handout photo/EPA/EFE]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was asked by the US government to interfere in Syria when the terrorists lost control of different areas, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told Greek daily Kathimerini in a rare interview.

Assad lashed out at Erdoğan, saying that Turkey’s invasion in Syria was “an aggression, an occupation”.

“Any single Turkish soldier on Syrian soil represents occupation. That doesn’t mean the Turkish people are our enemies. Only a few days ago, a political delegation visited from Turkey. We have to distinguish between the Turks in general and Erdoğan,” Assad noted, adding that the Turkish president is affiliated with the terrorist organisation Muslim Brotherhood.

“Maybe he’s not officially member, but his affiliation is toward that ideology, I call it this dark ideology. And for him, because, like the West, when the terrorists lost control of different areas, and actually they couldn’t implement the agenda of Turkey or the West or Qatar or Saudi Arabia, somebody had to interfere.”

“This is where the West interfered through the recent attacks on Syria, and this is where Erdoğan was assigned by the West, mainly the United States, to interfere, to make the situation complicated, again because, without this interference, the situation would have been resolved much faster,” Assad emphasised.

Assad’s interpretation of why Erdoğan started the “Olive Branch” military operation in Turkey is surprising. In Syria, Erdoğan has his own agenda to prevent Kurds from creating a state at its borders. Moreover, the US-Turkey relations are very bad as a result of the refusal of Washington to extradite preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom Erdoğan considers as mastermind of the failed 15 July 2016 coup.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by and Islamic scholar and teacher by the name of Hassan al-Banna. The supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is Mohamed Badie, who is currently in prison, having been sentenced to a number of life in prison and death sentences for a variety of charges.

In 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood ran a candidate in the post-Arab Spring presidential elections in Egypt. Mohamed Morsi won the election and was Egypt’s first democratically elected leader until a coup by the Egyptian armed forces in 2013 overthrew and jailed him along with many individuals in the MB leadership. Erdoğan was an outspoken supporter of Morsi.

Other than Egypt, which is the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood, there are parties that can be considered offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood in a number of Arab countries, as they were inspired by the core tenets of MB ideology. These include Hamasin Palestine, the Ennahda party in Tunisia, and Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement.
To date, the countries that have labelled the MB as a “terrorist organisation” are: Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey vows to launch new cross-border military operations

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday (6 May) said Turkey would launch cross-border offensives, like previous military operations in Syria, in the “new era” after snap polls on 24 June.

Assad added that Erdoğan has been supporting the terrorists since the very beginning of the war, but at that time, he could hide behind words like “protecting the Syrian people”.

“Now, because of these circumstances, he has to take off the mask and show himself as the aggressor, and this is the good thing. So, there is no big difference between the head of the Turkish regime sending his troops to Syria and supporting the terrorists; this is his proxy.”

He insisted that Erdogan is not implementing his own agenda but the US one and stressed that anyone who has invaded in Syria, including France, is an enemy to the country.

‘Wise Russia’

Asked whether there is a risk of a global war due to the developments in Syria, Assad said that thanks to Russia’s “wise leadership” this is not the case.

“Fortunately, you have a wise leadership in Russia, and they know that the agenda of the deep state in the United States is to create a conflict. Since Trump’s campaign, the main agenda was against Russia, create a conflict with Russia, humiliate Russia, undermine Russia, and so on. And we’re still in the same process under different titles or by different means. Because of the wisdom of the Russians, we can avoid this,” Assad said.

He added that maybe it’s not a full-blown third world war, but it is a world war, maybe in a different way, not like the second and the first, maybe it’s not nuclear, but it’s definitely not a cold war; it’s something more than a cold war, less than a full-blown war.

“And I hope we don’t see any direct conflict between these superpowers because that is where things are going to get out of control for the rest of the world.”

The chemical attack

Referring to the chemical attack that was attributed by the West to the Syrian government forces, Assad said the accusations were “fake” as the country gave up its chemical arsenal in 2013 and that was documented by the international agency for chemical weapons.

He explained that when the terrorists lost, the US, France, the UK and their other allies who want to destabilise Syria lost one of their main cards, and that’s why they had to attack the Syrian Army, just to “raise the morale of the terrorists and to prevent the Syrian Army from liberating more areas in Syria”.

Chizhov: We have a smoking gun to expose fake accusations on Syria

One day ahead of the“Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference in Brussels, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov gave EURACTIV a wide-ranging interview on his country’s ever more complicated relations with the West.

“But let’s presume that this army has chemical weapons and it’s in the middle of the war; where should it be used? At the end of the battle? They should use it somewhere in the middle, or where the terrorists made an advancement, not where the army finished the battle and the terrorists gave up.”

“The Western narrative started after the victory of the Syrian Army, not before. When we finished the war, they said, ‘They used chemical weapons’.”

EU says 'evidence points' to chemical attack by Syria regime

The EU said Sunday that evidence suggested the Syrian regime carried out a chemical attack in Douma and urged Damascus’s allies Russia and Iran to help prevent another one.

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