Updated: President Bashar al-Assad Unedited Interview with ABC News


Editor’s Note: This interview has been removed several times from YouTube. I have saved the forty-six minute interview in its entirety in the case that it is once again removed from the web.

— Nina Westbury, Creator and Editor of Crimson Satellite

Article by Nina Westbury for Crimson Satellite

DAMASCUS — In a rare interview with an American media outlet, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sat down with ABC News’ Barbara Walters to discuss the crisis in Syria.

“Do you think your forces cracked down too hard?” Walters asked. President al-Assad noted that Syria’s army doesn’t belong to him, stating, “I’m President. I don’t own the country.” Assad also mentioned that Syria’s Constitution requires the army to defend the country’s sovereignty.

Further, the President contrasted what American media are calling a “crackdown,” which he said was the result of the mistakes of some officials, with having a policy of torture. “If you want to talk about policy, look at what’s happening in Guantanamo, where you have a policy of torture,” the President remarked, referring to the infamous American military prison based in Cuba — which has not shied away from using torture against so-called ‘enemy combatants.’

President Assad also touched on the plight of the Palestinian people, the United Nations’ lack of credibility, and other important topics.

The full interview lasts forty-six minutes, some of which aired on an ABC special disingenuously titled “The Dictator Speaks.”