A senior Syrian minister has deplored Britain and France for “directly or indirectly” providing support to terrorist group al Qaeda in an escalating war against Syria.
Faisal al Miqdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, also denounced Jordan for playing “a dangerous game” in the region by facilitating arms supplies to be transferred from its territory to foreign-backed terrorists fighting the Syrian government. Faisal Al Miqdad lashed out at the UK and France as “new colonialists”, blaming them for providing political and military support to foreign mercenaries and insurgents seeking to overthrow the government of President Bashar Al Assad. “There is a big conspiracy against Syria to force it to change its policies towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, to change its stance on Arab issues, and to have a government that will serve the interests of the US, UK and France,” Miqdad said. Miqdad said the Syrian government had “no doubt” that rebels had used chemical weapons in Khan Al Assal near Aleppo, but it would only agree to a “real” UN investigation and not to a repeat of what had happened in Iraq. “The game is clear,” he said. “They want to cover up what happened in Aleppo and create fictitious issues.” “Britain and France were complacent about supporting Al Qaeda directly or indirectly,” Miqdad said. “Now that Syria is flooded by Europeans fighting with Al Qaeda, they are afraid. They wanted these people to come and be killed here, but when some of them started to go home, they changed their minds. They can tolerate killing in Syria and exaggerate what our government is doing, but they cannot defend this endlessly.” Britain and France have also said they are trying to alter the terms of the EU arms embargo on Syria to help the terrorists. Miqdad said he was heartened by “very strong opposition” to this from Germany and other member states. He scorned Britain’s insistence that it was sending only communications kit and other “non-lethal” equipment to the armed opposition. Miqdad also said he hoped that Jordan, now allowing Saudi-funded weapons transfers to the rebels, would not deepen its involvement any further. “The same forces that are killing innocent people in Syria are in Jordan too,” he warned. “We have stupid Arabs who are facilitating what the others are planning for the region. But the conspiracy begins in the west.” Claims of recent rebel gains in the Deraa area were “psychological warfare”, he insisted; talk of an imminent battle for Damascus was “propaganda”. The capital itself was not threatened but was being defended. Miqdad insisted that “there will be no Syria if president Assad steps down ... If he leaves now before we agree on a political plan among all Syrians, Syria will no longer be on the map.”