Speaking to Russian foreign broadcaster RT Thursday evening, Shaaban recalled that while Moscow and Damascus have joined efforts to fight terrorism in Syria, the Western media and Turkey have taken up a campaign to accuse them, without offering any substantive evidence, of causing civilian casualties. In her opinion, instead of hostility and empty accusations, other countries must join Syria in the struggle against terror, since it is a phenomenon which poses a threat to the entire world.
Earlier this week, Western media picked up on an accusation levied by Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Davutoglu that Russian air forces had destroyed a school and a hospital in the northwestern Syrian town of Azaz (which the Turkish military itself has been accused of shelling recently).
Commenting on the accusations, Shaaban recalled "that there are so many unfounded claims that have been made in the Western media about what the Russians and the Syrian Army are doing; briefly I can say that what the Syrian Army, in cooperation with Russian aircraft are doing is fighting terrorism in Syria. And what we hope for is for other countries to join in, because this terrorism is a threat to the entire[ty of] humanity."
Focusing on Turkish allegations specifically, the official suggested that "it is very clear that once the Syrian Army, in cooperation with the Russians, [began] achieving great success against terrorists, some countries in the region like Turkey and Saudi Arabia [started] going crazy, because they are the ones who [have been] supporting terrorism in Syria right from 2011 until [the present]."
Ultimately, Shaaban said that "the best way to save innocent civilians is to put an end to this terrorism, and there are all the means available, if there is a real will to put an end to terrorism. There is the Security Council Resolution 2235, which should force countries to stop financing, arming, facilitating and sending mercenaries and terrorists into Syria."
"Unfortunately, there is no international will to implement that resolution. We would wish that Russia, and America, and all countries in the world would join forces in fighting terrorism; this is the only way – instead of exchanging accusations which lead nowhere, and which have no effect on the ground; and it is the Syrian people, unfortunately, who are suffering the end result of this terrorism."
"And now, at the moment when the Syrian Army is making real advances and liberating our cities and villages, Turkey is attacking our cities and villages directly, because these terrorists were the means for Turkey on the ground in Syria, and once Turkey saw that these terrorists are failing or are being defeated, Turkey jumped in to save them and to help them."
Commenting on Turkey's role in the refugee crisis which has hit Europe, Shaaban emphasized that she sincerely hopes "that the Western world will stop looking at Erdogan's government as the means to help them, whether in fighting terrorism, or in stopping the refugee crisis. It is Turkey who started the refugee crisis four years ago. It is Turkey who put tanks on the borders well before any Syrian refugee was at any border. Turkey dismantled our factories, stole our heritage, had ambitions to recreate the Ottoman Empire in the Arab World, and Europe has no interest in following this example."
"The refugee crisis, believe me – has been created, manipulated and used by Turkey against Europe and against Syrian, and the only way I can see…is for Europe and Syria to speak together, and believe me, the refugee crisis would be solved, and terrorism would be eradicated from Syria," the official added.
"You remember the person who ate the heart of a Syrian soldier – [he] was from the Free Syrian Army, and the FSA is considered to be moderate by some Western countries – as 'moderate opposition'. Can terrorism be 'moderate'? Can somebody who is beheading people, killing people, destroying, and raping women and attacking minorities in the country be considered moderate? Can those [people] be considered moderate opposition?"
"I want to talk to you in a Western frame of mind," Shaaban noted, posing an interesting hypothetical. "Can Britain or France or the US accept any opposition that carries arms, attacks schools, and kills people? Why do they apply terminology [in relation to] us, that does not apply anywhere in the world? This is unacceptable."