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Dr Bouthaina Shaaban

Lateline interviews Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian President Bashar al Assad's top adviser, 11 Feb 2016

Dr Shaaban says UN Report claiming to uncover torture and murder by the Syrian government has no more credibility than the 'weapons of mass destruction' that the US used as an excuse to invade Iraq and which were later shown not to exist. "Everybody who is carrying arms against civilian and against the Government is a terrorist. The Russians are here according in response to the requests of the Syrian Government. The Russians are coordinating with us every single step and they are only fighting terrorists"; "The Security Council Resolution 2254 asked for one broad delegation from the opposition to represent the opposition in Geneva. Let us wait to see when that delegation is going to be made. The reality, Tony, again, is that these oppositions are paid by Turkey, by Saudi Arabia, by Qatar.

Oz Media breakthrough on Syria: Lateline Tony Jones interviews Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, President al-Assad's key advisor

Update, 21 September : 12 minute video of interview now included.

Video-link and transcript inside: Finally the Australian media has shown some professionalism and has asked questions of the 'other side', Syria, instead of simply making it up. And it was Tony Jones of the ABC who courageously led the way on Lateline tonight. Assad's advisor, Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, does an admirable job of clarifying the problem and sorting out priorities. Mr Jones asks questions that reflect Western paranoia, but Shaaban is not diverted from her representation of the needs of the Syrian people. "...Targeting presidents in the Middle East does not aim at presidents. It aims at destroying our country, turning our identity, erasing our cultural heritage, destroying our institution. It is Syria that has been targeted, it is not President Assad. President Assad is standing with his army and people to fight for the unity and territorial integrity of his country and this is what we are doing here." This interview probably comes in the wake of the Russian interview with President Assad (republished here). Dare we hope that justice might prevail; that some sense of proportion might restore itself in the western world's to date unhealthy interest in 'regime' changes in the Middle East, each of which has been more of a humanitarian disaster than the last? Yes, we dare hope. Thank you Tony Jones.

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