Thank you to SyriaNews and Arabi Souri (for translation) for the transcript of Dr Bashar Al Jaafari’s (Permanent Syrian Ambassador to UN) important interview with Al Mayadeen.
“Dr. Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke about the latest developments in regard to the high-level scandal in the OPCW management and how the United Nations Security Council reacted to the exposure.
The topic of Erdogan shipping terrorists to Europe through Libya was also discussed by Dr. Jaafari in an interview on the Lebanese based Al Mayadeen news channel.
The UNSC met under the ‘Arria Formula’, why so? And why not an official meeting to discuss such an important topic that implicates nations and international organizations?
What is the story revealed by Ian Henderson, the Australian expert at the OPCW who led one of the fact-finding teams in Douma, and what happened to his testimony?
Why is Erdogan transferring terrorists to Libya, and what is the EU’s response, or role in this?”
Question: Good evening, Dr. Jaafari, I will start from your last position when you warned the Europeans about the influx of terrorists who were in Syria to Libya and to their (European) countries in particular, on what you based this warning on?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: Good evening, dear, and thank you to Al-Mayadeen tv for hosting me in this important program, the truth, the meeting yesterday was dedicated to the so-called “informal meeting of the Security Council in accordance with the ” Arria formula”, and Arria is the name of a Venezuelan diplomat who served in the Security Council when Venezuela was a member of the Council, about a couple of decades ago. It is he who proposed this formula when there is no council consensus to hold a meeting on a subject, and the Council meets in a format called ” Arria Formula”, which means an informal meeting of the Security Council attended by the 15 member states of the Council and discusses the subject at hand.
The reason for the meeting was that western states in the Security Council refused to hold a formal meeting to hear very important views and recent developments in the so-called chemical dossier in the light of the statements of international expert Ian Henderson of Australian nationality, a member of the Fact-finding Commission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who went to Douma to investigate the false allegation regarding the use of chemical weapons in Douma.
Henderson has said explicitly several times in secret letters he has submitted to the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague that there is a mistake in the conclusions of his other colleagues in the team. Inspector Anderson was sidelined in his work, removed from the dossier and was asked not to make any statement. He again requested that his technical report be taken into account and that the Director-General hold a meeting of the organization in the presence of all the crew members who participated in the investigation of the Duma incident and the Director-General of the organization refused.
In other words, Expert Anderson, once again saying that he is an Australian of Australian nationality, revealed to everyone that there was manipulation of the accusations made by some other experts in which they accused the Syrian government…
Question: Manipulating by who?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: Manipulation by experts who are members of the OPCW fact-finding or investigative team, such as Henderson himself, are colleagues of Henderson, but they are unscrupulous and immoral, who wanted to falsely accuse Syria as they have tried in the past several times here and there, therefore, we have said that the Security Council has formed two committees to destroy Iraq, UNSCOM, and UNMOVIC, but in the case of Syria imagine the hysteria that has afflicted them, they have so far formed six committees, six United Nations mechanisms, in order to put Syria on a false charge, as they had done in Iraq. But of course, they failed all this path…
Question: But more frank, Dr. Jaafari, which are these states that contributed to the creation of these six UN mechanisms to fabricate accusations against Damascus, as you say, can we name these countries that contributed to the creation of these UN mechanisms?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: Dear, these countries are known, the story became known: The United States of America, Britain and France are in the forefront, and they are the ones who committed the triple aggression against Syria on April 14, 2018, and before that missile attack on Damascus in 2017, are the same countries. Public opinion should know that these international organizations, such as the United Nations, have many good people and good people, but there are a lot of demons too, in this international organization is the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and there is a jest among the ambassadors here that he is the real Secretary-General, that he is the real Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs must be American, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs must be British, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping must be French, and apply on this ‘standard’, that’s only in New York.
Question: Is there no role for the United Nations, such as taking concrete measures such as the participation of observers, because there is an invitation, I think, and we all remember Dr. Al-Jaafari, for example, for the participation of UN observers from China and Russia, why this proposal is rejected by this committee and especially you talked about the existence of evidence, Henderson report He talks about a key point about the chlorine cylinders found in two locations in Douma and were placed by hand.
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: We, our friends and allies have always demanded something that is an integral part of the work of international organizations, first and foremost the United Nations, we have been demanding the application of a rule called equitable geographical distribution, in the sense that any mechanism established must be observed in a fair geographical distribution, in other words, there must be an expert from Africa, an expert from Asia, an expert from Europe, an expert from the United States and an expert from Australia, so that there is a fair political distribution, geographical but politically meaningful. Imagine that this simple request was made to the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, we, and the Russians, the Chinese and others, we requested that there be a fair geographical representation in the group of experts that went to investigate Douma, and this simple requirement, which is a formality and non-essential, has not been listened to. It’s only a formality but it controls the essence. You put your finger on the wound accurately when you pointed it at it.
Question: Dr. Al-Jaafari, why does this file always come back to the forefront, a file of chemical weapons with every development on the ground with regard to the Syrian army. Today we are talking about large-scale military operations that worry the Turkish, in which Erdogan called on President Putin to stop this progress and what he called the Syrian march in the southern countryside of Idlib province. There is also a large-scale military campaign towards the atmosphere of the so-called western and southern countryside of Aleppo. With these two campaigns now back to the forefront the international pressure and the chemical file to impede this Syrian progress, is this how he understands the use of this card again?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: There is no doubt. There are two important issues in the Security Council that embarrass the Member States of the Council: the weapons of mass destruction and the humanitarian file. Therefore, whenever there is progress for the Syrian army, our allies and our friends on the front lines of fighting terror in Idlib and elsewhere, these countries become hysteric in the Security Council and starts calling for meetings one after the other, there is always a focus on the subject of humanity and on the chemical subject. But of course, they resorted to other issues at first, but they have completely exhausted them.
Today the focus is only on these two issues, of course, through the fabrication of false and false allegations in a humanitarian form, but with a political core.
You remember that at the beginning of the events in Syria there were some expressions that are an integral part of the language of the Security Council, such as a small village or a small town on the outskirts of Damascus called Moadamiya, which became the word of all the ambassadors here, and this was in 2011-2012, after that, all the ambassadors started talking about Baba Omar, and then we arrived in eastern Aleppo and then Daraa in the south… etc., and, of course, all the way to Ghouta Damascus, the story you know, and the eastern region of like Deir Ezzor and others.. Syrian topography is being used as if you feel that some ambassadors have become Syrian topographic specialists.
Whenever there is progress for the Syrian army at one of these points, in the past of course, all these areas are under the control of the Government and the Syrian army as you know, the more progress there is at one of these points the Security Council would go upside down to try to stop the offense by claiming the use of chemical or the humanitarian issue. But as we are concerned with the story of the chemical it turns out to everyone now that this file is fabricated and very cheaply, very cheap politically.
Imagine that the Russian ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ambassador Schulgen presented yesterday slides, presentations and proofs, all scientific talk he did not speak in politics, he said how a two-meter cylinder containing chemical gas and a width of approximately a little less than a meter penetrates a concrete roof armed with a thickness of 40-50 cm and falls on a bed and does not break the bed and the cylinder itself was not damaged, as if someone placed it on the bed.
First, there is an allegation that this cylinder was thrown from a height of 2 km, and secondly it penetrated the roof of reinforced cement 40 cm thick, thirdly it fell over a bed and did not break glass, nor broke the bed and the cylinder itself was not damaged nor there was any dent in it How can you believe that experts from the Chemical Weapons Organization testify that this “shell” is an act that fell from the ceiling. This is a joke even the child does not believe. The Russian Ambassador spoke scientifically and was confirmed by Inspector Henderson, who was removed from the investigation team.
Question: I will turn to the position that Dr. Jaafari began: warning the Europeans that there are now documents proving that terrorists, armed groups under Turkish control are being transferred to Libya, we are also talking about documents that also talk about a link between President Erdogan and the so-called al-Qaeda groups inside Libya. How does Damascus view this action taken by Turkey to the armed groups, and why did you warn the Europeans?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: This is something Erdogan himself acknowledged when he said that we are sending troops to Libya and they are on a basis going to fight terrorism (there), i.e. a terrorist who wants to fight terrorists! He is sending terrorists from his group in Idlib to fight terrorism in Libya, he said.
Turkey’s manipulation of terrorists in Idlib and elsewhere is a subject that has been covered and protected by the West, meaning that Erdogan’s agenda was consistent with the European and American agendas. Erdogan therefore cannot do what he does if he has not already received the necessary political and media coverage from the European Union and the United States of America. Everyone knew, since the events related to the revelations of the Turkish Yurt newspaper revealed that al-Qaeda terrorists tested the use of chemical weapons on rabbits in the city of Gaziantep, as I said yesterday.
This has been the view of the Security Council since 2012, and we have sent the information to the Security Council, to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and to Ms. Nakamitsu, High Commissioner for Disarmament affairs in New York, and to the Committee of Resolution 1540, which prohibits terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction. So far, we have sent 181 letters to the Secretary-General and all those I have mentioned that relate exclusively to the subject of the importation of terrorists with Western assistance, of course, experts from Belgium, France and Britain, and those who created the White Helmets, the Yellow and Red Helmets and western intelligence agencies, they introduced the chemical into Syria and this chemical was used in some of the incidents that I mentioned yesterday and we asked for an investigation and so far the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has not investigated.
Erdogan is a well-known patron of terrorism, the West initially called them moderate Syrian opposition if you remember and we were rare ridiculing this saying ‘genetically modified’ because they are Uighurs, Chechens, Caucasians, and Turks…
Question: In your opinion, Dr. Bashar, what is the Turkish goal of reviving these groups in Libya, has not achieved the Turkish strategic objective inside Syrian territory and wants to take advantage of them and revive them in Libya?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: This side, of course, the Turkish card using terrorism in Idlib failed in the Understandings of Astana and failed in the Sochi Agreement, it failed in the face of the advance of the Syrian army and its allies, failed in the face of our fight against terrorism, today Syria and its allies won the battle against terrorism, inside the Security Council and outside the Security Council, so a new investment is being sought for these terrorists elsewhere, so don’t rule out at all, the fact that this really happened, that some of these will be found later in Nigeria, Niger, Afghanistan, and some of them went to Yemen and there is a recycling of these terrorists from one front to the other, otherwise, how do you explain the movement of terrorists from Idlib to Niger on the border of Algeria, what aircraft carried these terrorists and what is the nationality of these aircraft? And how it crossed through the air space of at least five countries until Algeria’s border with Niger.
Question: In your opinion, Dr. Al-Jaafari, if Syria is relieved from the presence of these Turkish-backed armed terrorist groups and their transfer to Libya, because there is a Syrian decision with all the statements that Syria will regain full sovereignty over all its territories, how will this reflect on the reality on the ground for Idlib. Turkish Minister Chauceğlu revealed today that President Erdogan has asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to help stop the march of the Syrian Army, as he has called it, on the de-escalation zone in Idlib. Is this a card that Turkey can play to maneuver through the tools it has, and how will it reflect on the Syrian decision?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: Of course, this card is manipulated by Turkish intelligence and politics. I have said from the beginning of this interview that there is a Turkish investment in terrorism, they used to call it an international jihadist movement, you know, and our border with Turkey of 900 kilometers were open for both the sorts of this global terrorism from Indonesia to the United States of America, wherever there was human garbage they wanted to get rid of they sent to us, and they called them jihadists, the important thing is that the logistical part of this issue was assigned to the Turks and the Gulf Arabs paid the cost and the West ensured media coverage and political protection in the Security Council, which means that there is a distribution of roles, an integrated business strategy, therefore, I said that Turkish investment in terrorism is supported by the European Union and the United States of America, besides, Turkey is part of NATO, can you imagine that Turkey is working by itself?
Turkey is part of NATO and has certain obligations and controls, and if it crosses these obligations and controls, there are those who will summon them to a secret meeting and hold them accountable. This is not our business, but we are not amateurs in politics, we know exactly what is going on and we know who transferred the chemicals first time to Syria and it was used in Khan al-Asal in 2013 was a Syrian terrorist named Haitham al-Kassar working with the Turkish intelligence, he brought two liters of sarin gas from Libya on a civilian plane to Istanbul and then transported from Istanbul to the Syrian border by Turkish intelligence and entered into Syria and sarin gas was used… This story became known and we conveyed it to the UN flag, but what do you do if someone is blind, rather is completely color-blind, they don’t want to hear anything contrary to the interventionist agenda in Syrian affairs.
Question: One last question, Dr. Bashar, I know that your time is tight and you also have a (UNSC) session now: Is there not any Russian pressure exerted on Syria to stop this military operation with regard to Aleppo countryside as well as in Idlib?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: This war against terrorism is not only a Syrian war, it is of course a Syrian war, our duty as a state, our people are suffering primarily from terrorism, but we have allies and friends and everyone is fighting with us. The air strikes that take place on Idlib and the offense are all joint military operations between the Syrian army and its allies, we are perfectly consistent in reading the map of counter-terrorism, the matter is not a subject of pressure, the matter is about coordinating, arrangements and knowing priorities and integrate the military subject with the political… etc., it’s an integrated work subject to well-thought-out political instructions in the capitals concerned, the matter does not require pressure. The Syrian government’s decision is to end terrorism in Idlib, and that’s why we told the Europeans yesterday: we congratulate you on the arrival of your first terrorists in Idlib in Italy, and from there, of course they will spread to all the countries of the European Union.
Question: Is it possible that this would change the attitude of Europeans after the danger reached their countries and the arrival of these groups at their borders, Dr. Al-Jaafari?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: It is supposed to be, if there is a healthy mind in the European Union they should think in this way, investing in terrorism has ‘benefited’ them at a certain point and today terrorism has bounced back to them, a German court a week ago sentenced three terrorist fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front / Al-Qaeda Levant) who fled to Germany, they were sentenced to life imprisonment and the charge was that the German judiciary discovered that these three terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra who were hiding as refugees in Germany killed dozens of captured Syrian soldiers, slaughtered them, and then they went to Germany as refugees. So let the European community and the European public will know that their governments, the European governments are the ones who have breached the security and safety of the European peoples, they sponsored terrorism, so take the terrorists as long as they consider them as moderates and as ‘angels’, let them take this moderate terrorism. and the ‘angels’ and the angels to the European societies and to see as a result of the sponsorship of terrorism what will it be, like what happened in France, Belgium and elsewhere, as you remember.
Question: If there is a European review to their investment in terrorism, do you think there is an Arab review, specifically the Arab Gulf, Dr. Al-Jaafari?
Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: By God, I don’t think so in principle, but this is coming. I want to apologize to you because it is time for my statement in the Security Council, excuse me.
Question: Thank you very much Dr. Bashar Al-Jaafari, Syria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations for your time.
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