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Ex-Syrian government insider Jihad Makdissi speaks out about the country’s future

February 5th, 2014
03:22 PM ET

Today marks yet another key deadline that Syria has missed to get rid of its chemical stockpiles.

The chemical weapons deal, brokered by the United States and Russia in September last year seemingly has little to show for itself. Even after recent peace talks in Geneva the Syrian regime continues to rain its military might on cities and civilians across the country.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour spoke to Syria’s former government spokesman in his first television interview since announcing his resignation in February 2013.

Jihad Makdissi served as spokesman through the first year of the civil war, but is no longer a supporter of the Assad government or the opposition. He left his position defending the government after realising Syria was not “heading towards a political solution” even though he had hopes that President Bashar al-Assad would take “reformist actions”.

When asked if President Assad thinks he can win on the ground, Makdissi told Amanpour his view is the Syrian government “still believes in a security solution" for the conflict, and that “any political concession is not in their dictionary yet”.

But he says the international community needs to acknowledge this conflict is “no longer about Assad”. “What most Syrians want the international community to concentrate on”, he says, is, “on Syria achieving change”.

Click above to watch the full interview.


Filed under:  Latest Episode • Syria
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. rocky fjord

    the CW are under UN control by the appointed group with responsibility to secure and remove. Removal has been hampered by the US backed rebels, so a self fulfilling prophecy if you don't want them removed, but rather just want to NATO bomb like you did Libya. Assad did begin and try to make reforms, and that is when the rebels interpreted those moves as weakness and began their attempt at a coup.Well, it is a war, and the rebels hide under women's skirts and behind children in Aleppo neighborhoods. They are cowards. If they had courage, they would take the fight away from civilian areas, but they don't care about the civilians. The civilians should leave, unless they are being held by rebel forces, who then blame the civilian casualties on the government. When the US criticizes lesser political murderers, it makes us want to vomit. Only read Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick's Untold History of the US, for a picture of atrocity
    and who is responsible for it!

    February 6, 2014 at 1:42 am | Reply
  2. Charles madex

    The rebels are using women and children as human shields in Homs and the govt forces surrounding it have not moved in to protect civilians. The rebels at Geneva 2 refused calls to allow the civilians to leave the city and for aid to get in there.
    The performance of the western backed rebels at Geneva 2 was terrible as they had no plan for Syria except repeating John Kerrys call for a transitional govt on a platter. Makdissi knows that he can not support the rebels against his people and if he claims to support Assad this interview will not hold therefore he played his card well by claiming neutrality.

    February 6, 2014 at 7:01 am | Reply
  3. ashok

    Hopefully Assad will be no part of that future.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
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    are you trying to convince us arround the world that is normal to imagine an armed criminal opposition in each country?

    February 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Reply
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