LONDON – On September 18, US-led coalition airstrikes bombed Syrian government troops in eastern Aleppo, killing 62 Syrian soldiers, according to state media, while the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 83, with at least 120 soldiers wounded.
As of today, Russia, a key player in years-long Syria conflict other than US, has vowed to press ahead with its operations in Syria, while the US government wants to revive a Sept. 9 cease-fire deal that fell apart after the Aleppo airstrikes.
Following the airstrikes, Bouthaina Shaaban, a Syrian politician and close aide of President Bashar al Assad, was taken live by Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman who tried to take a crack at the top Syrian official.
Shaaban, the political and media adviser to the Syrian president, in a short talk narrated the Syrian grievances over the role of western powers that have, in an indirect way, contributed to deteriorating situation in Syria.
When asked about her comment on US expression of regret that it inadvertently hit the Syrian military personnel, Shaaban said: “No we don’t feel it was a mistake that killed dozens of soldiers, who were protecting our 300,000 civilians.”
Asserting that US coalition was working in league with terror group ISIS, she said: “The moment the US jets shelled Syrian soldiers, Daesh terrorists came from the same hills that the Americans were covering.
“And the moment the Daesh, or ISIS, terrorists occupied the area where our soldiers were, the American planes stopped shelling.”
She also denied the impression that the Russians knew about the excat location where US planes would attack. “Russians could not stop that (airstrikes) as there were 60 planes shelling for quite a while. The US told the Russians that it was going to strike Daesh, not the Syrian Arab Army.”
Giving an overview of the Syrian conflict, Shaaban said when US-led coalition came to Syria, they did not strike at any terror compund or convoy. “Daesh was expanding then. Its only when the Russians came, who truly came in order to fight Daesh, and the area which Daesh occupied started to get smaller and smaller.
“So there’s a huge difference between what Russians are doing and what Americans are. And, then, regretting killing tens of our soldiers is not good enough for us at all.”
When asked about the ceasfire brokered between Russia and US earlier this month, she said: “The Syrian government has adhered to the ceasefire although many of the terrorist groups which the US is protecting refused to adhere to the ceasefire. Still, however, the Syrian government would like to adhere to the cessation of hositilies on both sides.”
The situation turned ugly in the end of the conversation when the British presenter questioned the Syrian politican over the alleged use of Chlorine gas on civilan population in the country. Shaaban quicly responded: “Sombody living the Europe doesn’t have a clue about what happening on the ground. Americans pretend they are fighting but in reality they are only serving terrorists.
“It is the double standard practiced by the West that is killing people in Syria and Europe like Paris attacks. These (western) powers are still treating our country (Syria) as their colony. We don’t take assement from western governments.
“I can blame the western governments especially the Britain and France because they are selling our moment to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and getting a lot of money out of Iraq, that’s why they are supporting terrorism in Syria.
“My people are being massacred by Western forces in support of terrorists.”
To another question about the use of brutal force on Syrian rebels, Shabaan told the TV presenter: “If you want, I can give you one hour long lecture about what’s happening in Syria, but please don’t lecture me from London about what’s happening in Syria.”
In a message to the Channel 4 audience in Britain and across the globe, the Syrian stated: “Don not trust what you see or what you hear. Come to Syria and see what is happening in Syria for yourself and then you’d never believe what has been circulating on western media about Syria.”