Assad: It’s No Longer a Secret We Have Chemical Weapons

Syrian President Bashar Assad sat down for an interview in Damascus on Wednesday with Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Fox News’ Greg Palkot. When asked by Kucinich whether or not he had chemical weapons, he responded “it’s not a secret anymore” and said his government will follow the agreement reached between the U.S. and Russia to turn over his chemical weapons.

He made clear that destroying the stockpiles would take some time— “maybe a year”—and that the cost would be tremendous. He also pointed out the environmental burden of destroying his stockpile.

Assad then denied that his regime was behind a sarin attack in August that killed hundreds of civilians and questioned the authenticity of the YouTube videos, insinuating that they are a “forgery.”


A transcript of the entire interview can be read here.

[videos via Fox News]


Dennis Kucinich Interviewed Syrian President Bashar Assad for Fox News

On Tuesday, former congressman Dennis Kucinich and Fox News’ senior foreign-affairs correspondent Greg Palkot interviewed Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus as part of a special that will air on Fox News Wednesday evening.

Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president of news, released a statement about the interview to Politico:


“On Saturday, Sept. 7, ... Dennis Kucinich advised me that he believed he could secure an interview with … Assad, whom he had met on previous occasions. At the time, it appeared that an American military attack on Syria was imminent, and I decided that Kucinich should pursue the interview, on condition that Fox News journalists would also be included.”

“Over the course of the next 10 days,” Clemente added, “the situation in Syria changed drastically. When our interview with President Assad finally took place on Sept. 17, Russia’s proposal to secure Syrian chemical weapons had, temporarily, reduced the likelihood of an American attack.

“The interview, shot by agreement by a Syrian camera crew, was conducted with no restrictions on the questions that could be asked. … Greg Palkot, a veteran of Middle East coverage, conducted the interview beside Kucinich … I was present in the control room and studio at the Presidential Palace in Damascus for the duration. Kucinich was not there in the capacity of a journalist nor was he representing Fox News in that role.”

In an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose ten days ago, Assad denied using chemical weapons against civilians and made a stern, if vague, promise to retaliate against any military intervention from the US government.

From that interview:

Charlie Rose: "Will there be attacks against American bases in Middle East if there is an airstrike?"

Assad: "You should expect everything. You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government. It’s not only the government are not the only player in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology. You have everything in this region now. So you have to expect that."

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