Despite President Assad warning that ‘if the Europeans deliver weapons, the backyard of Europe will become terrorist and Europe will pay the price for it’ back in 2013, French President Hollande did not heed to the warnings.
President Assad further reiterated this warning on his Swearing of Oath Speech on July 16 2014, stating that ‘soon we will see that the Arab, regional, and Western nations who supported terrorism, will too pay a huge price; and a lot of them will understand later, and maybe even after it is too late, that the battle fought by the Syrian people to protect their homeland extends beyond the homelands borders, into defending a lot of other people, who will eventually be a victim of the same terrorism.’
Despite these predictions, France and other European nations have continued with the destructive policies of arming and politically supporting the non-existent ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria. The unfortunate events in Paris demonstrate President Assad’s correct assessment that Hollande’s irresponsible policy has well and truly caught up with France.
In August 2014, Hollande openly admitted that France was arming supposed moderate rebels in Syria stating that ‘we cannot leave the only Syrians who are preparing a democracy without weapons.’ However, this narrative does not take into account the known collaboration between the ‘moderate rebels’ and Salafist groups including ISIS.
Bassel Idriss, commander of a Free Syrian Army brigade, openly admitted in 2014 that his group cooperated with ISIS and Al-Nusra. It has also become known that ‘moderate rebels’ who have been armed by France and others in the West have gone on to sell their weapons to ISIS and Al-Nusra.
These destructive policies to remove an anti-imperialist secular president from Syria has led France to blindly support ‘rebel forces’ in Syria, and not call them as they are, radical Islamists. It is known there is at least 1000 French jihadist who have joined ISIS and it is no surprise that 129 innocent people were slaughtered in Paris because of Islamist networking and experience returning to France.
Assad pointed out the hypocrisy of French reaction to the terrorist attack by stating that ‘wrong (policies) adopted by Western states, particularly France, toward events in the region and its ignorance of the support of a number of its allies to terrorists are reasons behind the expansion of terrorism.’ This expansion has been seen with the latest attack in Paris as well as the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Hollande, rather than reverting from his war mongering, has only pushed his agenda for further intervention in Syria, ignoring that many of those involved in the attack were European domestic terrorists from France and Belgium. Rather than acknowledging that Europe has an increasing radical Islamist element that threatens Europe directly, Hollande has pushed forward with French intervention with immediate airstrikes in ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria. Hollande has yet to acknowledge that his foreign policy has spurred the growth of radical Islam in Syria that has now reached France.
As Assad stated, ‘it is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card. It is like a scorpion which won’t hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity.’ Unfortunately for the innocent victims of the Paris attack, Hollande has still yet to realise this.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Al-Masdar News.
P. Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.
You can follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/oulosP