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Interview with Mouaz al-Khatib. Chemical Weapons. “Assad may not have given the order directly”

Mouaz al-Khatib with journalists (Credits: B2/TLBJ)
Mouaz al-Khatib with journalists (Credits: B2/TLBJ)

(BRUSSELS2) “ I don't believe that war can bring peace to the people » says Mouaz al-Khatib. A small group of journalists, including B2, was able to meet the former president of the Syrian National Coalition. The opportunity to have your point of view on potential strikes and on the responsibilities for the use of chemical weapons.

Add war to war

« It is not for me to say whether I am for or against the strikes because initially I am for the political solution. But now the regime is calling this military action because we have offered it many times all types of solutions but it has rejected them » he explains. The imam expresses his reluctance towards strikes. “ War is not done with surgical strikes, it brings more trouble and confusion. Moreover, it will not be big strikes that will put an end to the regime and therefore it will rise again. Assad will go on to say to himself, no one will stop me now. " He adds, " Now real military action can happen. But the limited strikes are a bit hypocritical because if Obama says, I won't bring down the regime, I'm just sending a message, Assad will consider himself to have won the battle against the United States, if we don't kill him. not ". Moreover, " Limited strikes will be useless, the goal is not to give a good image to the USA but to remove a dictator by all possible means. ».

A fix on chemical weapons

Many voices have been raised to denounce the fixation on the use of chemical weapons when this represents only a small part of Assad's crimes. “ Why is the international community focusing on this small crime? Every day there are massacres, in Homs, Al Qusair, Damascus, Aleppo. Compared to the crimes overall this is only a small part. Killing a person is a crime, harming a child is a crime. Torturing a woman is a crime. He also confides his concern, “ I'm worried because the Syrians haven't been attacked for a month. They have been attacked and massacred for two and a half years. The regime used bombs like in Hiroshima. What about the massacres of civilians? Of the destruction of 82 bakeries in one month with planes? Are these not war crimes? ».

Chemical weapons, responsible government…

Regarding chemical attacks, Muaz al-Khatib is " convinced that it is the regime ". " The rebels live with their families and neighbors, they cannot attack their own families. In addition they do not have the technical capacity to attack 17 points at the same time ».

... Assad indirectly

The important point is here. According to him, " Assad may not have given the order directly, but the regime provided the opportunity and authority to ". Why ? Because the powers have been delegated. " People are waiting for the results of the international investigation. But there are reasons for this confusion over who used the weapons. So that the regime could kill more people, Assad gave full authority to the leaders. They divided Syria into many areas. Leaders have been given full authority to do whatever they want. Now, maybe the person in charge of this area has decided to lead this attack. There is something very strange, the main chemical weapons officer of the Republican Guard was executed two days later. So there was something the regime didn't want to happen ».

Not a reason to abandon the chemical arsenal

Despite the massacres and the condemnation of the use of chemical weapons, the Syrian opposition does not seem to decide to abandon this resource in the event of victory. Asked whether he would sign international agreements on chemical weapons, Mouaz al-Khatib was reluctant… “ If all the countries in the area signed disarmament, it would be okay “He says before kicking into touch, “ It is not a personal decision to say yes or no, when we have a legitimate parliament it will be able to decide.»

(Thomas LeBihan)

The rest of the interview (future of Syria, presence of jihadists, solution to the conflict, etc.) on the Club

Thomas LeBihan

Student in "Public Affairs European Governance course" at Paris I. Intern at B2. Follows the news of the European Parliament.

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