During a talk with NBC News that was broadcast on Syrian state television, the Western Asia country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, suggested that Donald Trump is the ideal president for the United States’ adversaries, Newsweek reports.
According to Assad, it’s Trump’s honesty and transparency that makes him the “best American president.”
“Why? Not because his policies are good. But because he’s the most transparent president,” Assad said.
The 54-year-old dictator suggested that it’s inevitable that American presidents will commit crimes and nevertheless receive a Nobel Peace Prize. Assad suggested that U.S. presidents are portrayed as defenders of “human rights” and America’s “unique” and “brilliant” principles.
“All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Peace Prize and appear as a defender of human rights, and the ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ American or Western principles,” he claimed.
Assad went on to blast the leadership of the United States.
“But all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others.”
Assad also addressed Trump’s decision to leave troops in east Syria to protect the oil fields, suggesting that it reveals the real purpose of U.S. foreign policy.
“Trump speaks with transparency to say, ‘We want the oil.’ This is the reality of American politics since the Second World War at least. ‘We want to get rid of this person, we want to provide a service in return for money.’ This is the reality of American politics. What do we want more than a transparent foe?”
Syrian President Assad said on Thursday that President Trump is the best type of president for a foe due to his open talk of annexing Middle Eastern oil. pic.twitter.com/B9AZdnwoRK— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 1, 2019
Assad’s criticism echoes that of Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, who went even further and accused the U.S. of partaking in a ploy to smuggle oil from Syria to avoid sanctions for petrodollars. According to Konashenkov, a U.S.-controlled company called Sadcub siphons the oil to be smuggled into other countries outside of U.S. sanctions. He claims that — using brokerage firms — the revenue from the purported smuggling is used to fund intelligence services and private military companies. Although Konashenkov’s allegations are not supported by evidence, they nevertheless highlight a similar skepticism of U.S. foreign policy as expressed by Assad.
Assad has reportedly killed approximately 400,000 of his own people since he began waging a civil war against opposition forces in Syria in 2011. He also allegedly used chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 Syrians in 2013, including 426 children.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard personally met with Assad in 2017. The meeting, as well as her decision to keep the interaction from other Democrats in Congress, caused backlash from many. In her defense, Gabbard claimed that Syria is not a direct threat to the United States and has been vocal in her criticism of Trump’s relationship with countries like Saudi Arabia.