Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad showed his humble side Friday talking with a Lebanese newspaper. He says that he believes he “should have won” the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. That award was recently given to the inspectors involved with the chemical weapon disarmament process in Syria.
As Herald Sun reports, Assad’s comment was more a flippant joke than a serious claim. The August 21 chemical weapons attacks in Damascus, which left as many as 1,400 civilians dead, have been blamed on Assad’s government forces. The conflict in Syria is also rooted in Assad’s regime’s violent reaction to government protesters in 2011, a war that has left at least 115,000 people dead.
With this in mind, it is not clear if Assad’s remarks about the Nobel Peace Prize were meant to be intentionally ironic. More likely, though, it was an expression of the dictator’s unwavering righteous stance.
Speaking more about his agreement to surrender Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles, Bashar al-Assad said it was a necessary move to prevent US military action. He says that until recently, Assad’s government saw the weapons as a bargaining chip against Israel’s nuclear weaponry. The Syrian president goes so far as to say that the surrender of these weapons have “resulted in a loss of morale and a political loss” for his nation, reports The Independent.
In his interview Assad also remarked that the US and the West had acted more “dignified in dealing with us than some of the Arabs.” Assad refers to a lack of consensus within the Middle East about the Syrian government’s relentless and bloody pursuit of rebel supporters. He says it is “a loss” that unity against Israel is no longer exists between Arab nations.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which claimed the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, has begun work to dismantle chemical weapons stockpiled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. They say they plan to remove all weapons by mid-2014.