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MIDEAST > Al-Assad praises Egyptian military's overthrow of Mohamed Morsi

BEIRUT - The Associated Press

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This Aug. 19, 2009 file photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. AP photo

This Aug. 19, 2009 file photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. AP photo

Syria's embattled president  Bashar al-Assad July 3 praised Egypt's protests against their leader and said his overthrow by the military means the end of "political Islam."

Al-Assad who is seeking to crush a revolt against his own rule, said Egyptians have discovered the "lies" of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He spoke in an interview with the state-run Al-Thawra newspaper to be printed in full July 4. Excerpts were published July 3 on the Syrian presidency's Facebook page, coinciding with the Egyptian military's announcement of Mohamed Morsi's ouster.

"What is happening in Egypt is the fall of so-called political Islam," al-Assad said. "This is the fate of anyone in the world who tries to use religion for political or factional interests."

Al-Assad is facing an insurgency at home and has refused to step down, calling the revolt an international conspiracy carried out by Islamic extremists and fundamentalist groups such as the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a branch of the Egyptian group with the same name to which Morsi belongs.

Earlier, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi urged Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to step down in line with his people's wishes.

Al-Zoubi told reporters in Damascus that Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood is a "terrorist" organization and a "U.S. tool."

Last month Morsi enraged Syrian officials by announcing he was severing ties with Damascus and closing its embassy in the Syrian capital.

Al-Assad's father, the late President Hafez Assad, cracked down on a Muslim Brotherhood-led rebellion in the northern city of Hama in 1982. The Syrian forces, led by the president's brother and special forces from their minority Alawite sect, razed much of the city in a three-week air and ground attack, killing between 10,000 and 20,000 people.

"The ruling experience of the Muslim Brotherhood failed before it even started because it goes against the nature of people," al-Assad said in the interview, charging that the Brotherhood aimed to spread strife in the Arab world.

July/04/2013

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Çılgın Kanarya

7/4/2013 9:12:27 PM

Assad is of course being totally hypocritical, to the point of being hilarious, as his hands have been dripping in blood for the past years after reacting to people protesters marching in the streets with live fire from the army. However, despite all this, what he says about Morsi and political Islam is 100% correct, so let's not forget that even a monster can talk some sense! The sad thing is that, because of Erdoǧan’s stance, I no longer care whether Assad is toppled, unlike 2 years ago. Sorry

Joshua Bronxman

7/4/2013 3:20:25 PM

This is hypocracy and double speak all rolled up into a blanket that Assad has clothed himself in. It is highly unlikely that Assad’s staying power is based on the will of the people. The original demonstrations were for basic human rights, not a religious agenda. And certainly his benefactors in Iran represent political Islam. Suppression of opposing opinions by lethal force spells dictatorship. Getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t mean that Assad now has a free pass.

The Prisoner

7/4/2013 1:46:28 PM

I'd be worried if I was RTE! Mr Assad seems to have struck a chord amongst a lot of people around the world. There seems to be more folk rooting for him (in the West as well as ME). The majority of the British electorate are against any interference in Syria as are many Europeans, just the governments who want him toppled. Same goes for AKP, so start worrying Mr Tayip!

sonnudagreat

7/4/2013 10:37:21 AM

gangs of middle east new gang member mr sultan of turkey hosgeldiniz !!!

Blue Dotterel

7/4/2013 7:56:59 AM

Fair enough. Morsi was unscrupulously calling for more violence against the Syrian people, and also calling on Egyptians to go to Syria to commit that violence. "The ruling experience of the Muslim Brotherhood failed before it even started because it goes against the nature of people," al-Assad said.

K M

7/4/2013 7:21:14 AM

There seems to be a pattern emerging here: criticize Assad and your own people realize that, hey, you remind me of him, and not in a good way..

Ed Frias Ed Frias

7/4/2013 6:29:07 AM

And tell me Mr Assad, when were you elected. If there was an election in Syria, where people could vote freely, Assad would get less then 10% of the vote. This is the same hypocrite Assad that supports the Islamists running Iran. Assad has also supported the Islamists Hamas and Islamic Jihad and killed Rafic Hariri in Lebanon.

Eric Martin

7/4/2013 3:28:32 AM

And so do most of the leftists in Turkiye! Erdogan should have said something about the hijacking.
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