Question 2: Why is Russia helping Syria, in general?
President Assad: We cannot answer this question without talking about the Russian role; Russia is a superpower and has international duties and responsibilities. These responsibilities serve the world and also, Russia and the Russian people. Russia has the choice of either playing the role of a superpower, or withdrawing into itself and becoming a very ordinary state, which would not be good for the world. In this context, the military presence in Syria is part of the framework of the global balance of power, because the world today is not governed by legal criteria, but rather by the criteria of power. Therefore, the Russian power, from a military perspective, is necessary for balance in the world. […]
Question 3: Going back to Turkey, what do you think of Ankara’s intention of repatriating the Syrian refugees to the areas under the control of the Turkish army and the militants which support it in the northeast of the country, taking into account that these refugees might number about 3 million people?
President Assad: Nobody believes that Turkey will repatriate 3 million Syrian refugees to this area; this is a deceptive humanitarian slogan. Even if they wanted to, this is not possible because it would create a conflict between the owners of the land, the cities, the villages, the homes, the farms, and the fields on the one hand, and these newcomers, on the other; those who own these places will never renounce their rights in these areas, so this would create an ethnic conflict. Läs intervjun