President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has admitted making “mistakes” at the start of the uprising against him in March 2011, in an interview published Sunday by the German weekly Spiegel.
“Whenever political decisions are made, mistakes happen. Everywhere in the world. We are all just people,” Assad said when asked whether it was a mistake to respond with force to peaceful protests in the early days of the revolt against his family’s 40-year reign.
“Personal mistakes by individuals happened. We all make mistakes. Even a president makes mistakes. But even if mistakes were made in the execution, our fundamental decisions were right,” he said.
After the regime launched a brutal crackdown on the protesters the conflict rapidly escalated into a full-scale civil war in which 115,000 people have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes.
Asked if the armed opposition has sole responsibility for massacres, and if his forces were entirely innocent, Assad replied: “You can’t just absolutely say they carry 100 percent of the blame and we carry zero.”
“Reality is not black and white, there also shades of grey. But basically it’s correct that we are defending ourselves,” he said.
“And I can’t worry about the mistakes of individuals, given that there are 23 million Syrians. Every country has to fight criminals. They can be anywhere, (including) in the government, in the army.”
Assad also denied using chemical weapons against his own people and told Spiegel that his government was cooperating fully with international disarmament experts and UN inspectors.
“We’re very transparent. The experts can go to every site. They are going to have all the data from our government.”
He also dismissed assertions by US President Barack Obama that Syrian forces carried out a chemical attack that killed hundreds in the Damascus suburbs in August.
“We have not used chemical weapons. This is wrong,” Assad told Spiegel.
“And so is the picture you’re drawing of me, of someone who kills his own people… Obama presents not a single piece of evidence, not a shred of evidence. He has nothing to offer but lies.”
UN inspectors who investigated the August 21 attack said in a report that sarin gas was used, but it was not within their mandate to say who was responsible.
A new team of international disarmament experts have started to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons in line with a UN Security Council resolution aimed at averting punitive US military strikes.[AFP]
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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