Press Shia Agency – Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General said that the fact of Bashar al-Asad remaining in power in Syria is certain and final.

Press Shia – In an interview with Lebanese newspaper, al-Akhbar, Hujjat al-Islam Naim Qasim referred to the issue of Syria and said that the question of Syrian president Bashar al-Asad remaining in power is certain and is settled and all the steps taken or that may have been taken show that this debate is finished as al-Asad is the foundation of the solution to the conflict in Syria and will support any solution to end the six-year long conflict in the country.

Regarding the position taken by the administration of American President Donald Trump in regard to Syria, the Lebanese cleric said that the United States still hasn’t provided detailed options in regard to the issue of Syria and acts on the basis of scattered and general ideas and without a clear or complete plan.

Hujjat al-Islam Qasim said that we must “wait and see” what the developments will be for at least a few months and after that the Americans will feel the need to directly take action rather than act through their Turkish, Saudi or Qatari intermediaries. 

“Until the liberation of Raqqah, which will coincide with the completion of the operation to liberate Mosul, we cannot talk about the possibility of all parties, including the Americans, sitting at the table to discuss ideas about political rights. Otherwise, all we see and hear today is in the context of improving the reality on the battlefield from various parties without a clear political plan,” he said.

The senior Hezbollah official noted that a political solution cannot exist if the main parties – the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Syria and the opposition – don’t participate and added that the lack of US involvement and the lack of participation by the Persian Gulf monarchies in all these steps means that we haven’t seen a clear political option. 

Hujjat al-Islam Qasim said that the US attack on Syria’s al-Sha’yrat Airbase was a limited incident that led to its end and added, “Washington wanted to say it had put all of its might on the ground but in reality, its political resonance was more important to them rather than its impact on the ground.”

He added that this was clearly demonstrated by the US giving advance notice to the Russians in regard to the attack and frustration that struck the Israelis after their initial cheers and the swift reopening of the airbase by members of the Syrian Arab army.

“All this indicates that the attack had limited objectives and effects and could not be based on future American steps,” he said.

In response to the question that Hezbollah is accused of seeking to make changes to the demography of the four predominantly Shi’ah villages of al-Fu’ah, Kefraya, Zabadani and Madaya, he said, “For more than two years, the 16,000 citizens of al-Fu’ah and Kefraya have been under a heavy siege and have faced the aggression of terrorist groups and there was no choice but to transfer the people based on an agreement.”

Hujjat al-Islam Qasim said that it’s not fair that this is interpreted as “demographic change” because it’s attribute to individuals who are against slow death but solving the demographic situation is an essential part of the political solution in Syria changes and the return of people to the cities.