Sputnik: Why is the French defense minister making these statements now, weeks after the April 14 strike?
Ayssar Midani: The last hit was on the day that the [OPCW] investigation commission was arriving in Syria, and wanted to start [their work]. They hit Syria just before [that investigation] started. That's one thing. The second thing is that Syria never used chemical weapons. Each time, these allegations are really based on lies and false testimonies of the White Helmets making real video shows. This was proved several times by [investigative journalist] Vanessa Beeley, by Syrian information and by Russian media. Even Mr. Lavrov has said that these are lies and allegations from the Western media.
This is really the main point: that all these Western countries are coming only to help and raise [the morale] of Jabhat al-Nusra* and Jaysh al-Islam who were in Damascus. The Syrian army is fighting Daesh,* al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam within the borders of Damascus. This was a real strategic point for them, because it is very near to the capital, and they wanted to create high pressure on the Syrian government and the Syrian president.
The French government has actually supported al-Nusra from the beginning. I would like to remind [listeners] of the calls by Laurent Fabius, who was the minister of foreign affairs in France, who was saying that al-Nusra was doing a 'good job'. He was also saying that Assad doesn't deserve to live, that he deserves to be ten feet under. These [statements] were a call for murder from the head of French diplomacy!
I can say that they are continuing on the same line, because they continue to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons. This is the only thing [they can say] because they are losing on the ground. They are trying to say 'we will hit because of the usage of chemical weapons'. But nobody talks about the chemical weapons used by Israel against Palestinians. No one talks about the usage of chemical weapons by the United States in the north of Syria using phosphorous bombing on civilians…
[The] Western countries under the leadership of the United States say they are in Syria just to fight terrorism. In fact, they are there just to support terrorism."
*Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia.
Ayssar Midani is a Syrian-French geopolitical analyst and the president of the Network of Syrian Scientists and Innovators in Technology Abroad. The views and opinions expressed by Ms. Ayssar Midani are those of the expert and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.