Sputnik: What is the situation in Damascus now?
Dr. Bassam Abu Abdallah: I can tell you that everything was normal, nothing changed absolutely not before or after. In the morning I was working at home and I read usually at night and when it started many Syrian people took pictures of the rockets, especially the Russian missiles which the Syrian army used defended perfectly, and at the same time I did not feel that the people were afraid, not before or after, opposite of that, people went to work, the arrived at his office on time as every day, so nothing happened, and if they think we are afraid, absolutely not, normal life is going on everywhere.
Sputnik: How is the population reacting to what happened, you said that they were going to work and so forth, but what are people saying?
Dr. Bassam Abu Abdallah: People are saying that they expected that Trump has prepared a huge statement and nothing happened. I think the best comment is not from Syrian but from the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth (2.16) when they say that the rockets were very nice, very beautiful and very smart, but there's also zero, this is I think is the best comment. So nothing changed, not in the military aspect, not in the political aspect, it did not affect the normal life of civilians, so nothing.
Sputnik: How long do you expect the American presence in Syria to continue?
Dr. Bassam Abu Abdallah: We expect everything, but I think that inside the United States, between Pentagon, the Department of State and the administration of Trump there are differences. When President Trump met with his national security team, they had a lot of differences because they were afraid of the reaction from Russia, they don’t know the actions of Iran, they don’t know the actions of others, and at the same time they have only lies depending on their aggression. So we’re expecting everything, but we feel that we're strong enough, and this experience, this morning when our air defense systems downed more than 75 of their rockets, it’s a loss for them, not for us.
*Daesh (aka Islamic state/ISIL/ISIS/IS) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia
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The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.