[<< wikiquote] Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad (born 11 September, 1965) has been  president of the Syrian Arab Republic since 2000.

== Quotes ==

[The Jews] tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.
As quoted in "The disappearance of the Jews", The Economist (May 10, 2001)There is no such things as "Islamic terrorism," because terrorism differs from Islam. There's just terrorism, not Islamic terrorism. But the term "Islamic terrorism" has become widespread.
"If Sanctions Are Imposed on Syria, the Entire World Will Pay the Price", MEMRI (Dec. 2005)They are not my forces. They are military forces that belong to the government.… I don't own them. I am president. I don't own the country so they are not my forces.
Interview with Barbara Walters (7 Dec. 2011) on the military escalation of the Syrian conflictThe army is engaged in a crucial and heroic battle... on which the destiny of the nation and its people rests. The enemy is among us today, using agents to destabilise the country, the security of its citizens... and continues to exhaust our economic and scientific resources. They (the enemy) wanted to deprive the people of their national decision... but they were astonished to see these proud people, who confronted their plans and defeated them. You men of the country... you have demonstrated, in dealing with the war waged against our country by the terrorist gangs, that you possess an iron will and a keen awareness. Our military remains the backbone of the motherland.
"Syria Army in Crucial and Heroic Battle says Bashar Al Assad", Daily Telegraph (1 August 2012)I'm not a puppet. I wasn't made by the west to go to the west or any other country. I'm Syrian. I'm made in Syria. I have to live in Syria and die in Syria.
Interview with RT, (November 2012)[Enemies of Syria] are the enemies of the people and the enemies of God. And the enemies of God will go to hell.
As quoted by Holly Yan et. al. Al-Assad touts plan for resolution, says enemies of Syria 'will go to hell', CNN (Jan. 17, 2013)We are facing an external attack against us, which is more dangerous than any other previous wars... We are dealing with those who are extremists, who only know the language of killing and criminality.
As quoted by Holly Yan et. al. Al-Assad touts plan for resolution, says enemies of Syria 'will go to hell', CNN (Jan. 17, 2013)With every treacherous shell that had fallen, the enemies’ hopes would grow that Aleppo would become another Aleppo, one that never existed throughout history, an Aleppo that does not constitute with its twin Damascus the wings by which the homeland soars; rather an Aleppo whose people would stand with traitors in front of masters, kneeling and prostrating themselves before them, begging for a few dollars and much disgrace. That was in their dreams; but in our real world, with every shell that fell, fear fell and the will to challenge grew. With every martyr, nationalist spirit grew and faith in the homeland became stronger. In our real world, it remained the real Aleppo, the Aleppo of history, nobility, and authenticity. And because it is so, its people did not settle for steadfastness just in the sense of bearing of pain and suffering and acceptance of the status quo; but rather in the sense of work and production that persisted throughout the years of the siege despite the conditions that contradict any economic sense.
Assad Says Aleppo Had to Pay a Great Price, The Syrian Observer (Feb. 19, 2020)
The most important factor is how long are the supporters of those terrorists are keep going to keep supporting them, especially Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, with endorsements of some Western countries including United States, if you don't have that support it won't take more than a few months....That depends on how much the support of terrorist have in Turkey, in Saudi money to have more terrorists coming to Syria, their aim is to prolong the war, so they can prolong it if they want, they've already succeeded in that. That depends on that. If you're talking about how much is going to take as only Syrian conflict, isolated conflict, this is what it won't take for a few months but if it is not isolated conflict as it is the case today, with the interferences of many regional and international powers, it will be going to take some time, and no one has the answer as we have, of course, nobody knows how the war is going to develop...
Interview with Bill Neely (July 2016) on "NBC: Exclusive Interview with Bashar al-Assad"Talk about the reality, about the facts, when to talk about children being killed, children of who? where? how? you're talking about propaganda, about media campaign, about sometimes fake pictures on the internet, we cannot talk but ones of the facts. We can talk about the facts, I cannot talk about allegations.
Interview with Bill Neely (July 2016) on "NBC: Exclusive Interview with Bashar al-Assad"When we talk about "clean war," when there is no casualties, no civilians, no innocent people to be killed, that doesn't exist, no one could make it, no war in the world...
Interview with Bill Neely (July 2016) on "NBC: Exclusive Interview with Bashar al-Assad"Since the beginning of this crisis, we have the same motto "Assad must go" many times from nearly every Western officials in different level whether leader or foreign minister and other officials...we never cared about it...we never, so you cannot talk about this threat, this is an interference in our internal issues; we're not going to respond to, as long as i have the support of Syrian people, I don't care about whether...including the President of United States himself, anyone, so it's same for us, that's why...say Clinton and Trump and what Obama said, for me nothing, we don't put it on our political map; we don't waste our time with those rhetorics or even 'demands'
Interview with Bill Neely (July 2016) on "NBC: Exclusive Interview with Bashar al-Assad"Whatever (Valerie) Amos or any other official or any organization say something against us doesn't mean it's real. We have to verify what they say and is it the part of propaganda? is it politicized? or what...
Interview with Jeremy Bowen (9 February 2015) on "Syria conflict: BBC exclusive interview with President Bashar al-Assad"Every 'brute reaction' was by an individual, not by an institution, that's what you have to know, There is a difference between having a policy to crackdown and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference, We don't kill our people… no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person, There was no command to kill or be brutal.
Interview with Barbara Walters (December 2011) ABC News
You are mixing between the protesters and the killings, it's different, now we are having terrorists in many places...killing, not only now, from the very beginning, now it's recognized by the media that's the difference, that from the very first few weeks we had those terrorists they are getting more and more, more aggressive, they have been killing. we have 1100 soldiers and policemen killed, who killed them? "peaceful demonstrators"? this is not logical, this is unpalatable...
Interview with Barbara Walters (December 2011) ABC NewsWhen, but you, to be frank with you, Barbara, I, you don't live here...how did you know all this? you have to be here to see. We don't see this. So it cannot depend on what you hear in the United States.
Interview with Barbara Walters (December 2011) ABC News
Had this 'Spring' been genuine, it would've started in the  backward Arab countries. Were it a call for freedom, democracy, justice, it would've began in the most oppressive and tyrannical states. The states behind every hardship that befell this nation, and every war against it. States behind the intellectual and religious deviation and moral decline. Their existence is the best success for the west and the main reason for Israel's continued existence. There is no clearer evidence than their current stand regarding the Israeli aggression against Gaza. Where is the 'alleged' zeal and passion that they showed towards Syria or the Syrian people? Why haven't they supported Gaza with money and arms? Where are their jihadists and why didn't they send jihadists to defend our people in Palestine?
2014 Presidential Inauguration Speech (2014)It is an integrated chain of events: from the occupation of Palestine, to the invasion of Iraq and trying to divide it now and the division of the Sudan all planned by Israel and the West and always executed by the states of tyranny and backwardness in our Arab world. Was it not Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman al-Faisal [Ibn Saud] who conceded to Britain that he does not object to giving Palestine to the ‘poor’ Jews in 1915? Did those states not incite the 1967 war, whose price we are still paying today, in order to get rid of the Abul Naser ‘phenomenon’? Did those states not support Iran under the Shah, only to stand against it when it decided to support the Palestinian people and turn the Israeli embassy into a Palestinian embassy after the revolution? Those are the countries which made the ‘King Fahd Peace Initiative’ in 1981 and threatened the Palestinians with rivers of blood if they don’t accept it. When the Palestinian factions rejected it, and in less than a year, there was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the ejection of the PLO from Lebanon, not out of concern for Lebanon, but for Israel. Those same states surprised us in 2002 with their greatest concession: ‘normalization in return for peace,’which was later modified to become the ‘Arab Peace Initiative’in the Beirut summit. When Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, it was those same countries that encouraged Israel and the West not to accept a cease-fire until the Lebanese resistance was destroyed, describing them as ‘adventurous.’  Because these satellite countries succeeded in their tasks, they were charged with funding chaos under the name of the ‘Arab spring,’ and with leading the Arab League after other Arab countries abandoned their roles.  The Arab League itself was reduced to summoning NATO and imposing a siege on the Arab states that refused to comply. All of these events constitute a strongly linked chain aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause; all the money spent by those countries since their creation has been for this purpose. And here they are today playing the same role: in Gaza through Israeli terrorism, and in Syria through terrorism belonging to 83 nationalities. The methods may differ but their objective is the same.
2014 Presidential Inauguration Speech (2014)
None of these allegations you mentioned are concrete, all of them are allegations. You can bring photos from anyone and say this is torture. Who took the pictures? Who is he? Nobody knows. There is no verification of any of this evidence, so it’s all allegations without evidence... It’s funded by Qatar, and they say it’s an anonymous source. So nothing is clear or proven. The pictures are not clear which person they show. They’re just pictures of a head, for example, with some skulls. Who said this is done by the government, not by the rebels? Who said this is a Syrian victim, not someone else? For example, photos published at the beginning of the crisis were from Iraq and Yemen.
President al-Assad Interview with Foreign Affairs Magazine (27 January 2015)
You have to convince your audiences, you cannot mention such a picture without verifying who are those and where and everything about, just to put it in front of the audience, tell them “they’ve been killed by the Syrian soldiers.” At the end, these are allegations. We have to talk about concrete evidence, at the end. That’s how you can base your judgment. Anyone can say whatever he wants.
Interview with Yahoo News, (2017)

== Interview with Jeremy Bowen (2015) ==
Bowen: You've been very harsh on your criticism on the Saudi, now the Saudis say they are against Islamic State, they are afraid of Islamic State because Islamic State do not want royal family in Saudi Arabia, so is that logical that they want to wipe them out?
Assad: First of all, the sources of the Islamic State (IS) ideology and other al-Qaeda affiliate groups are the Wahabbi that has been supported by the royal family in Saudi Arabia, so just to say that we do and we don't, it doesn't matter, it's what you do, what the action that you are taking in order to prove that what you are saying is correct.
Bowen: So, you are saying then that Saudi Arabia bear high degree of responsibility to the emergence of this ideologies and this armed groups?
Assad: Definitely, definitely, there is no question...

== Interview with Bill Neely (2016) ==

Neely: He (Donald Trump) has made very few comments about Syria or the Middle East, but he described you as a 'bad guy.' Does that worry you?
Assad: That is his opinion, It's his personal opinion. He doesn't have to see me as a good guy. The question for me, Do Syrians see me as a good guy or bad guy? not American person or president or nominee, I don't care about it...

Neely: It's not just Russia attack your enemies, it's the United States, do you welcome American airstrikes against ISIS?
Assad: No, because it's not legal, first of all, it's not legal...
Neely: It's not legal for Russia to do it, is it?
Assad: No, They are invited legally and formally by the Syrian government, it's the right of any government to invite any other country to help in any issue, so they are legal in Syria while the American are not legal with their allies, of course all of them are not legal...

Assad: How can you blame now [George W] Bush for the one million Iraqi deaths since the war in Iraq in 2003?......
Neely: I am not talking about President Bush, I am here to ask you...
Assad: I'm talking about the principle now, it's about the principle, the same principle, he attacked a sovereign country while I defend my country. If you want to use one standard it's one thing but if you want to do a double standard that's another thing.
Neely: You're still not giving me the impression that actually you care very much.
Assad: I talk to American audiences, so there must be analogy between the two things because it's about the logic that you used to explain something, it's not only about my answer. He (Bush) attacked sovereign country while we are defending our country, he killed Iraqi people on their land, we are defending mainly against terrorists coming from different places in that world. This is our right.

Neely: How do you think history will remember you?
Assad: How I hope the history remember me, I cannot think, I cannot foretell, I am not fortune-teller, I hope that the history would see me as the man who protected his country from the terrorism and from the intervention and save its sovereignty and the integrity of its land.
Neely: Because you know what the first draft of history is saying that you are a brutal dictator, you're a man with blood on your hands, more blood on your hands than even on your father's...
Assad: No, again I would draw an example, If you have a doctor who cut the head because of a gangrene to save the patient, you don't say he's a brutal doctor, he is doing his job in order to save the rest of the body, so when you protect your country from the terrorists and you kill terrorists and you defeat terrorists you are not a brutal, you are a patriot. That's how you look at yourself and that's how the people want to look at you...
Neely: That's how you see yourself, as a patriot...
Assad: I cannot be objective about looking at myself, the most important thing how the Syrians look at me, that's the real and objective opinion, not my opinion, I cannot be objective about myself...

== Quotes about Bashar al-Assad ==

=== Academicians and scientists ===
Finding a link between Bashar Assad′s regime and the rise of the so-called Islamic State will not come as a surprise to many Syrians. Unlike the image the regime has been trying to sell to world media that Assad is fighting IS, there is well-documented evidence of the Assad dictatorship′s contributions to the IS tale of terror.
Hakim Khatib, 7 April 2017 en.qantara.de
Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power, to which he is clinging, and for which he is also prepared to commit genocide.
Bente Scheller, 10 June 2018 en.qantara.de
The Assad regime is absolutely monstrous and responsible for a large majority of the atrocities.
Noam Chomsky, 8 June 2016 en.qantara.de
Russia, Iran and Hezbollah openly supported the Assad regime from the outset. But why have the US and the nations of the West, which are apparently so concerned with respect for human rights, done nothing to stop the terrible violence of the Assad regime? Is the so-called "Islamic State" a logical consequence of the violence of the Assad regime?
The Assad dictatorship is conducting an outright campaign of annihilation against its own population.
The tyranny of Assad will always give rise to extremist violence, whether it is called "Islamic State" or known by another name. Western societies are increasingly equating the terror of the Assad regime with that of "Islamic State", even going so far as to describe Assad as the evidently lesser evil. This despite the fact that Assad has killed a quarter of a million Syrians with barrel bombs and chemical weapons alone, while IS has between 10,000 and 20,000 people on its conscience (exact figures are not known). In addition, the deployment of Assad's air force and the besieging of cities by government troops have driven several million Syrians from their homes. It is terrifying how the deeds of the man who is currently the world's most brutal mass murderer are being relativised and how the focus is increasingly on the crimes of "Islamic State".
Huda Zein, 6 July 2016 en.qantara.de

=== Activists ===
Everyone [in western capitals] says to us ‘What’s the alternative to Assad and why is the opposition not united?’. But it’s not the revolution’s fault that it’s not united and we can’t wait for unity while the river of blood flows. The alternative to Assad is the ballot box.
Suheir Atassi, 14 March 2012 ft.com
People’s homes are invaded, women and children are taken hostage, because the authorities are not satisfied with arresting an activist – they take the whole family. This is going on in all regions of the country. President Bashar al-Assad said that his government’s priority was ensuring that there is enough baby formula, because that’s more important than freedom. Today he’s doing the opposite: depriving the children of Daraa not only of freedom, but also of milk, since he’s starving the city.
Suheir Atassi, 5 May 2011 france24.com

=== Artists ===

He represents the case of stubbornness.
Nicole Saba, 25 November 2015 alwatan.sy
There is one painting [titled Betrayal] that speaks to me on an emotional level. [President] Bashar al-Assad should look at this painting. He probably would see a big part of himself inside it. He might recognize the evil presented in this painting in himself. That’s the point of every painting in this room: They are designed for people to come to terms with their own capacity to commit horrible acts. If we don’t understand the root of violence, then we’ll never be able to protect ourselves from committing it.
Leila Said Hassou, 30 September 2016 newsdeeply.com
Everybody knows what this regime is capable of doing, including people who favour Assad. And everybody knows what's happening in Syrian jails. Of course the regime denies all these charges. But do you remember the photographs by Caesar who took pictures of torture victims in a military hospital and then smuggled them out of the country? After he published them in 2013, many Syrians looked through them in order to identify missing family members and friends. I discovered a good friend. He was arrested one and a half years beforehand and then tortured to death. Western countries look at the Syrian civil war and say: "If we have to choose the lesser of two evils, we'd rather live with Assad."
Hamid Sulaiman, 22 February 2017 en.qantara.de

=== Journalists ===

Assad's bombs gave life to IS in Syria. People have been radicalised and ultimately, view IS as a protector of Sunnis. Assad's air strikes on cities, like Aleppo, or the targeted infrastructure attacks, were fatal. His assaults killed seven times more civilians than IS has.
Kristin Helberg, 28 December 2015 en.qantara.de
Yes, we have understood – Assad is not the lesser evil, but a war criminal. It is not IS that kills the most civilians, but the regime in Damascus (and Russia has to date killed more civilians than IS and the Nusra Front together). And a leader who is indicted for crimes against humanity in this country cannot be made a partner in the war on terror.
Kristin Helberg, 1 December 2016 en.qantara.de
As long as foreign Shia militias are allowed to murder as they please on Assad's behalf, the radicalisation of Syria's majority Sunni population will continue.
Kristin Helberg, 28 July 2016 en.qantara.de
The Syrian conflict has several narratives, all of which are jostling for media supremacy. In the end, the one that is being heard most clearly is that of Bashar al Assad.
In Syria, the "good" war against terror looks something like this: all Syrians who are against Assad are cast as "terrorists", "tools of US imperialism" or "puppets" of Saudi Arabia or Turkey. They have practically no will of their own, they have not experienced any misery and are completely dehumanised. Assad himself on the other hand is seen as the legitimate president of a sovereign state, as a "quiet, thoughtful man", as Jurgen Todenhofer described him.
Emran Feroz, 20 December 2016 en.qantara.de
It′s a great failure for humanity. What is happening in Syria is not just a Syrian affair. The oppression of the Syrian people by the Assad regime also concerns us in the West. "IS" draws its power from the dictatorship′s oppression.
...But the international community doesn′t want to act on it. They see intervention as too complicated for them. Syria is a sovereign state and Assad an elected president. Even if he wasn′t elected democratically, he is recognised as having been elected. And then there′s the fact that he and his wife look like us. His wife is very beautiful. She doesn′t wear a veil and they both appear "civilised". So it′s much more difficult to see the barbarism there than it is with the members of "IS", who post their crimes on social media for all to see.
...must be made clear that Assad and the higher ranks of the regime will have no part in any political solutions. They are responsible for mass crimes and you can′t go back to business as usual with criminals.
Garance Le Caisne,  27 April 2016 en.qantara.de

=== Jurists and lawyers ===
We should not allow ourselves to be collectively hypnotized into believing the media hype that would portray murderers as heroes, and the Syrian people and government struggling to expel them from their country as the villains.   Author Janine Di Giovanni, another vehement supporter of NATO-backed regime change in Syria, recently penned an article in the New York Times entitled “In Syria Even the Hospitals are not Safe.” Di Giovanni claims that “Bashar Al Assad [personally] attacks medical facilities to break the will of the people — and to destroy evidence of his war crimes.”   Di Giovanni fails to mention the rebuilding and restoration of the hospitals in areas of Syria that were previously occupied by the multi-faceted armed groups, which had either destroyed or systematically taken over hospitals and schools before converting them into detention centers, sharia courtrooms, and torture chambers... Di Giovanni dismisses Syrian government claims that targeted hospitals are occupied by the terrorists and armed groups, without addressing the evidence that hospitals and schools were occupied by militant factions in East Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta, Quneitra, Daraa, Homs, and across Syria. Di Giovanni persists in the unequivocal defense of the U.K.-manufactured White Helmets accused by Syrian civilians of child abduction, organ trafficking, participation in executions of civilians and prisoners of war, and the faking of “chemical weapon” events in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, April 2018. Events that fraudulently facilitated the unlawful bombing of Syrian territory by the U.S Coalition on 13th April 2018....
Vanessa Beeley inSyria War Diary: In the Western Media Narrative, SAA-Targeted Underground Bunkers and Terrorist-Run Prisons Become “Hospitals”, Mintpress news,  (10 June 2019)War is destructive and during a war, it is sadly inevitable that civilians will die or be injured. They are caught up in its ferocity and their lives are devastated. What Di Giovanni fails to do is to explain who created the cycle of violence that has ravaged Syria for eight years. Di Giovanni fails to express outrage over the fact that the United States and its allies in the U.K., European Union, the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel have been equipping, arming, financing and promoting extremist armed factions that have laid waste to cities, historical heritage sites, and civilization across Syria.... The Syrian government has no choice but to liberate Idlib from the terrorist infestation it endures because Syrian civilians will keep dying if these groups are allowed to expand and put down deeper sectarian roots in the region... No other government in the world would tolerate such an invasion of its territory and persecution of its people by foreign mercenaries and hardcore radical factions among its own society.
Vanessa Beeley inSyria War Diary: In the Western Media Narrative, SAA-Targeted Underground Bunkers and Terrorist-Run Prisons Become “Hospitals”, Mintpress news,  (10 June 2019)After years of brutal fighting along purportedly confessional lines, the complex Syrian conflict has become a regional and international proxy war. What began as a peaceful popular uprising against the brutal tyranny of the Assad clan is now a global conflict.
Loay Mudhoon, 14 November 2015 en.qantara.de

=== Poets ===
Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians.
Marah Bukai, 20 April 2018 twitter.com 

=== Politicians and diplomats ===
It’s sickening to hear these clowns repeatedly claim that “Assad murdered 500,000 of his people,” as though the U.S.-backed terrorists have played no role in the killings.  I’ve viewed hundreds of beheadings and crucifixions online but none committed by Syria troops – all were proudly posted by the hellish filth that we’ve recruited, armed and trained for the past eight years.  Major war crimes, like beheading 250 Syrian soldiers after running them across the desert in their underpants, were scarcely mentioned by the MSM.
Virginia State Senator Dick Black in Has Trump Been Outmaneuvered on Syria Troop Withdrawal? Consortium News,   (3 January 2019)The reason is not simply because of my opinion of him. It is because it is unimaginable that you can stop the civil war there when the overwhelming majority of people in Syria consider him to be a brutal, murderous dictator.
Barack Obama, when he said that Assad must leave office to end Syria crisis My patience ran out on President Assad a long time ago.  The reason why is because he houses Hamas, he facilitates Hezbollah, suiciders go from his country into Iraq, and he destabilises Lebanon.
George W Bush, as quoted in Bush 'loses patience' with Syria, BBC News (20 December 2007)There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CBS Face The Nation interview (27 March 2011).[1]For me he is the last Arab ruler, and Syria is the last Arab country. It is the fortress of the remaining dignity of the Arabs, and that's why I'm proud to be here.
British MP George Galloway in a speech at the University of Damascus. The speech aired on Al-Jazeera TV on November 13, 2005. [2]There is considerable evidence that Bashar al-Assad is actually supported by a large majority of the Syrian people, even among those who would welcome more democracy, because they know the alternative to him is chaos... Washington... clearly would like to see a solution that involves a fragmentation of the state enabling containment and rollback of Iranian influence there while also satisfying both its clients Israel and the Saudis as well as creating a possible mini-state for the Kurds. The destruction of Syria and the Syrian people will just be regarded as collateral damage while building a new Middle East. Hopefully the Syrians, backed by Iran, Russia and China will prevent that from happening and as the U.S. did not directly engage in much of the hard fighting that destroyed ISIS, it thankfully has little leverage over what comes next.
Philip Giraldi in Destroying Syria. Why does Washington hate Bashar al-Assad? The Unz Review (23 January 2018)Although Americans are starting to wake up, many people are still caught up in the mainstream narrative regarding the Syrian war.... Starting in 2011, tens of thousands of foreigners – Al Qaeda and other jihadists – were sent into Syria to overthrow Assad. The U.S. and its allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey & Jordan – assisted in buying and transporting weapons to the “insurgents.” Special forces from the U.S., U.K., France and Israel also spent billions of dollars arming and training the terrorists, a.k.a “moderate rebels.” What’s happening in Syria is not a civil war – it’s a proxy war.  Assad has been fighting the Islamic terrorists for seven years. It’s cynical and Orwellian for the West to shed crocodile tears for the Syrians and blame Assad for this brutal war. While the presstitutes make it look like Assad is fighting women and children, fact is that the rebels have highly sophisticated weapons – million-dollar tanks, U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that cost $250,000 etc..
Chris Kanthan in Debunking 10 lies about Syria and Assad, NationofChange, (17 April 2018)Assad protects Christians and other minorities. There’s no Sharia Law in Syria, and religious minorities have full freedom. The only group that’s “oppressed” in Syria is the violent Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned for many decades. The Syrian opposition consists of Sunni extremists who have been persecuting and killing Shiites and Christians for the last seven years.
Chris Kanthan in Debunking 10 lies about Syria and Assad, NationofChange, (17 April 2018)No way – no way possible in the imagination – that the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could regain the legitimacy to govern. One man and those who have supported him can no longer hold an entire nation and a region hostage. The right to lead a country does not come from torture, nor barrel bombs, nor Scud missiles. It comes from the consent of the people. And it’s hard to imagine how that consent could be forthcoming at this point in time.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, at the Geneva II Conference on Syria, Washington Post (22 January 2014)
The regime of Bashar al-Assad will inevitably go down. And its collapse will be loud not only in Syria but across the Arab world.
Saad Hariri, 14 February 2013
Bashar Al-Assad was able to break Syria over the heads of the Syrians.
Other translation: " Bashar Al-Assad was able to destroying Syria on the heads of Syrians" cbc.ca
Saad Hariri,   15 February 2015

... Assad’s survival—if Saddam Hussein’s murderous rampage in 1991 is any indication—will without a shadow of a doubt translate into hundreds of thousands of Syrian dead, mostly butchered after his victory has been assured. The comparison comes to mind because the two Ba’thi regimes of Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad bear an unmistakable resemblance—they are mirror images of one another, one might say. Both are minority dominated, single party regimes originating in the same quasi-fascist pan-Arab ideology built on the principle that any form of disagreement is an act of “betrayal” to the “revolution.”
Kanan Makiya, "Intervention In Syria is a Moral and Human Imperative", New Republican (February 24, 2012)Assad as President has actively tried to kill his own people.  He has bombed them with barrel bombs in a most terrible way.  He has brought untold suffering over his people -- if you look at Aleppo and other places.  When you talk to the many Syrian refugees who have fled here to Germany, they will be able to tell you their own personal story, and the majority of them -- the great majority of them -- fled from Assad, and most of them not even fled the IS.  So I don’t see him as an ally.
Angela Merkel, Remarks by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel of Germany in a Joint Press Conference (November 17, 2016)The US foreign policy establishment had rhetorically justified America’s presence in Syria as part of the war on the Islamic State (ISIS). With ISIS essentially defeated and dispersed, Trump called the establishment’s bluff... This shift had the benefit of unmasking America’s real purposes in the Middle East...because of ISIS. In fact, ISIS was more a consequence than a cause of the US presence. The real purposes have been US regional hegemony; and the real consequences have been disastrous.
The truth about the US presence in Syria has rarely been told. But one can be sure that the US has had no scruples about democracy in Syria or elsewhere in the region, as its warm embrace of Saudi Arabia amply demonstrates. The US decided to promote an insurgency to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in 2011 not because the US and allies like Saudi Arabia longed for Syrian democracy, but because they decided that Assad was a hindrance to US regional interests. Assad’s sins were clear: he allied with Russia, and he received support from Iran.
Jeffrey Sachs in Trump’s Syria Withdrawal is a Chance for Peace, Project Syndicate (2 January 2019)The truth about the US presence in Syria has rarely been told. But one can be sure that the US has had no scruples about democracy in Syria or elsewhere in the region, as its warm embrace of Saudi Arabia amply demonstrates. The US decided to promote an insurgency to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in 2011 not because the US and allies like Saudi Arabia longed for Syrian democracy, but because they decided that Assad was a hindrance to US regional interests. Assad’s sins were clear: he allied with Russia, and he received support from Iran.
Jeffrey Sachs in Trump’s Syria Withdrawal is a Chance for Peace, Project Syndicate (2 January 2019)Today, Bashar Al-Assad is playing the role of the son of the Levanter, offering his services to any would-be buyer through interviews with whoever passes through the corner of Damascus where he is hiding. At first glance, the Levanter may appear attractive to those engaged in sordid games. In the end, however, the Levanter must betray his existing paymaster in order to begin serving a new one. Four years ago, Bashar switched to the Tehran-Moscow axis and is now trying to switch back to the Tel-Aviv-Washington one that he and his father served for decades. However, if the story has one lesson to teach, it is that the Levanter is always the source of the problem, rather than part of the solution. ISIS is there because almost half a century of repression by the Assads produced the conditions for its emergence. What is needed is a policy based on the truth of the situation in which both Assad and ISIS are parts of the same problem.
Amir Taheri, Opinion: Like Father, Like Son , Ashraq Al-Awsat (Feb 20, 2015)Those who urge an alliance with Assad cite the example of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet despot who became an ally of Western democracies against Nazi Germany. I never liked historical comparisons and like this one even less. To start with, the Western democracies did not choose Stalin as an ally; he was thrusted upon them by the turn of events. When the Second World War started Stalin was an ally of Hitler thanks to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Soviet Union actively participated in the opening phase of the war by invading Poland from the east as the Germans came in from the West. Before that, Stalin had rendered Hitler a big service by eliminating thousands of Polish army officers in The Katyn massacre. Between September 1939 and June 1941, when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Stalin was an objective ally of Hitler. Stalin switched sides when he had no choice if he wanted to save his skin. The situation in Syria today is different. There is no alliance of democracies which, thanks to Obama’s enigmatic behavior, lack any strategy in the Middle East. Unlike Stalin, Assad has not switched sides if only because there is no side to switch to. Assad regards ISIS as a tactical ally against other armed opposition groups. This is why Russia is now focusing its air strikes against non-ISIS armed groups opposed to Assad. More importantly, Assad has none of the things that Stalin had to offer the Allies. To start with Stalin could offer the vast expanse of territory controlled by the Soviet Union and capable of swallowing countless German divisions without belching. Field Marshal von Paulus’ one-million man invasion force was but a drop in the ocean of the Soviet landmass. In contrast, Assad has no territorial depth to offer. According to the Iranian General Hossein Hamadani, who was killed in Aleppo, Assad is in nominal control of around 20 percent of the country. Stalin also had an endless supply of cannon fodder, able to ship in millions from the depths of the Urals, Central Asia and Siberia. In contrast, Assad has publicly declared he is running out of soldiers, relying on Hezbollah cannon fodder sent to him by Tehran. If Assad has managed to hang on to part of Syria, it is partly because he has an air force while his opponents do not. But even that advantage has been subject to the law of diminishing returns. Four years of bombing defenseless villages and towns has not changed the balance of power in Assad’s favor. This may be why his Russian backers decided to come and do the bombing themselves. Before, the planes were Russian, the pilots Syrian. Now both planes and pilots are Russian, underlining Assad’s increasing irrelevance. Stalin’s other card, which Assad lacks, consisted of the USSR’s immense natural resources, especially the Azerbaijan oilfields which made sure the Soviet tanks could continue to roll without running out of petrol. Assad in contrast has lost control of Syria’s oilfields and is forced to buy supplies from ISIS or smugglers operating from Turkey. There are other differences between Stalin then and Assad now. Adulated as “the Father of the Nation” Stalin had the last word on all issues. Assad is not in that position. In fact, again according to the late Hamadani in his last interview published by Iranian media, what is left of the Syrian Ba’athist regime is run by a star chamber of shadowy characters who regard Assad as nothing but a figurehead.
Amir Taheri, Opinion: No, Bashar Al-Assad is no Joseph Stalin, Ashraq Al-Awsat (16 Oct, 2015).... the biggest criminal of our time.
Saad Hariri,  12 May 2017
The fate of ISIS will not differ from the fate of Bashar Al-Assad, as the two are moving on top of the killing and destruction machine.
Saad Hariri,  24 May 2015
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay.
Donald Trump, 8 April 2018  aa.com.tr, twitter
A foolish and cowardly boss who lives in isolation.
Louay Almokdad, 17 April 2013 elnashra.com
Assad is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism.
It is impossible to continue with Assad in Syria. Why? Because how can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed nearly 1 million of his citizens? Do the Syrian people want to see a person like him in power? I am saying it loud and clear, Bashar al-Assad is actually a terrorist who has inflicted state terror. We cannot say such a person can handle this issue. Because saying so means doing injustice to 1 million Syrians who have been massacred. tccb.gov.tr
There is no peace in Syria and this peace won’t come with Assad.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 27 December 2017 reuters.com
Bashar Assad should see the tragic ends of the ones who declared war against their own people.
History  will mark these leaders as the leaders who feed on blood.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 15 November 2011 bbc.com
He is a man who wages state terror. It is he who killed nearly one million people.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 22 July 2017 tccb.gov.tr
If only he could stay in Moscow longer, to give the people of Syria some relief. In fact, he should stay there so the transition can begin.
Ahmet Davutoğlu, on the president al-Assad's Moscow visit, 21 October 2017 dw.com
If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life.
Abdullah of Jordan, 14 November 2011 telegraph.co.uk
When the refugees realize that their return is conditioned on coordination with Bashar al-Assad's regime, they won't return, because Bashar al-Assad himself was behind their displacement.
Samir Geagea, 22 September 2017 naharnet.com
The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people.
We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.
Barack Obama, 19 Aug 2011 theguardian.com
...President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country. We call on him to face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside in the best interests of Syria and the unity of its people.
David Cameron, 19 Aug 2011 theguardian.com
He is not going to lead the programme of change in Syria now. He has shown he is not capable of reform. His position is untenable. There is no process of change that leaves him intact.
Tony Blair, 9 Sep 2011 theguardian.com
In essence, I see the Syria war as a wrong one. If we had any sense, and if the Qods Force had not had excessive aspirations, Bashar Assad would have been toppled in 2011 because of the Arab Spring, and his dictatorial, oppressive Ba'thist regime would have fallen. We could have maintained good ties with those who would have replaced him in a democratic manner. That way, Iran's resources would not have been wasted in Syria.
if instead of supporting Bashar Assad's tyrannical regime we protect the Syrian people from ISIS – then Turkey, Russia, America, and Iran can unite and decide that democracy should be established in Syria and that Assad must go.
Mehdi Khazali, 14 July 2014 memri.org
Bashar al-Assad is a criminal, he will have to be tried and answer for his crimes before international court.
Emmanuel Macron, 19 September 2017 ynetnews.com
A day will come when international justice will give its verdict on Bashar al-Assad who is massacring his people.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, 6 April 2017 rfi.fr

=== Writers ===
Bashar al-Assad′s regime is by no means secular; it is sectarian. When it comes to Muslim-majority countries, many people in the West tend to adopt what I call Huntingtonian secularism, defining secularism in an oversimplified culturalist way as something that is basically against Islam.
Yassin al-Haj Saleh, 15 February 2017 en.qantara.de
In Assadʹs prisons, thereʹs no such thing as a pampered prisoner.
Mustafa Khalifa, 1 July 2017 en.qantara.de

== External links ==

Profile: Syria's Bashar al-Assad at BBC News=
Syria holds referendum May 2007