I have abridged the article. Full gloss at link. (r. a. note)
Sputnik International Posted Tues., May 16, 2017
Speaking to reporters on Monday, UN Nikki Haley (pic above) blasted Assad. “We don’t think the people want Assad anymore. We don’t think he is going to be someone that people will want to have,” Haley said.
Speaking to ABC News a day earlier, the former South Carolina governor-turned UN ambassador went further, saying that “bring[ing] Assad to justice” “remains a priority” for the United States, and that the US would put pressure on Moscow and Tehran over their stance on Syria.
“…We need to start putting pressure on Russia and Iran,” Haley said. “We need to get the Iranian influence out of there….We want Russia to know how dangerous it is for Assad to remain in power.
The Syrian president has yet to offer an official response to the ambassador, and it remains to be seen whether he will do so at all. Sputnik decided to look back on the Syrian president’s response to such language from years past to get some indication of his expected response.
For example, in an oft-quoted interview for Russian media from September 2015, Assad emphasized that it would be up to the Syrian people, not any outside power, to decide his fate.
“As for the president, he comes to power with the people’s assent through elections, and if he leaves, he leaves if the people demand it, not because of the judgment of the United States, the UN Security Council, the Geneva Conference or the Geneva Communique,” Assad said.
In a separate interview for Iranian media a month later, Assad expanded on this theme.
“I would like to be very clear: no foreign officials might decide the future of Syria, the future of Syria’s political system or the individuals who should govern Syria. This is the Syrian people’s decision. That’s why these statements mean nothing to us.”
Finally, just two months ago, speaking to Belgian media, Assad again reiterated:
In fact, he noted, his government was dependent on popular support not only at the ballot box, but ” for everyday governance as well, particularly in the current difficult situation. “…
“If you don’t have public support, you cannot achieve anything in Syria, especially in a war. In a war what you need – the most important thing – is to have public support in order to restore your country, to restore stability and security. Without [support] you cannot achieve anything.”
Even if Bashar Assad doesn’t end up commenting directly on Ambassador Haley’s recent remarks, Assad has already made clear in interviews going back many years that he’s been responding to politicians like her while she was still serving as governor of South Carolina.
Full article here: