Giving his first speech on the Lebanon crisis, Syria’s President has said that peace in the Middle East will remain elusive for the foreseeable future – and that the United States is to blame. Bashar al-Assad claimed the latest fighting in Lebanon had been planned by Israel for some time as part of an aggressive US-sponsored policy.
“The war has nothing to do with the capture of the two soldiers. This is recognised by the world,” he told a gathering of journalists in Damascus. “There is a pre-planned scheme and whoever fails to see this fact, after all the clear events, has a problem with their vision.”
There were also strong words for the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon who President Assad accused of wanting to provoke a rebellion in the country by asking Hizbollah to lay down its arms.