DAMASCUS – A Syrian Catholic archbishop has accused the United States of joining forces with al-Qaeda in an attempt to topple President Bashar Al-Assad.
Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo of Hassaké-Nisibi said he believed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was arming and training rebel groups in Syria which were al-Qaeda under “a different name”.
He said it was misleading for Western politicians to speak of support for “moderate rebels” in Syria “because such groups simply did not exist”.
He also said that Western military interference in his country was misguided because it could make Syria “like Libya”.
The 74-year-old prelate spoke of his concerns after John McCain, chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, admitted that America was supporting anti-Assad rebels at war with the Syrian government.
“US Senator John McCain protested saying that the Russians are not bombing the positions of ISIS, but rather the anti-Assad rebels trained by the CIA,” Archbishop Hindo told Fides, a Vatican-based news agency.
“I find these words are disturbing,” he said. “They represent a blatant admission that behind the war against Assad there is also the CIA.”
Archbishop Hindo continued: “Western propaganda keeps talking about moderate rebels, who do not exist. There is something very disturbing about all this – there is a superpower that since September 11 protests because the Russians hit the militias of al-Qaeda in Syria.”
“What does it mean, (that) al-Qaeda is now a U.S. ally, just because in Syria it has a different name? But do they really despise our intelligence and our memory?”
“Western powers had no right to be interfering in the conflict in Syria,” the archbishop said, adding: “The Syrians will decide if and when Assad has to go away, and not the Daesh (ISIS) or the West and it is certain that if Assad goes away now, Syria will become like Libya.”
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