DAMASCUS : President Bashar al-Assad accused the Hamas of “treachery and hypocrisy” over their alleged backing of opposition in the Syrian civil war.
in an interview with Sky News Arabia, al-Assad said denied that Syria had asked Hamas to intervene on his side of the war, as claimed by some of its leadership at the time, and slammed them for choosing to stand with opposition groups.
“I am talking about the leaders. I am not talking about all of Hamas, because I do not know all of Hamas, which claimed to stand with the same resistance that bore the flag of the French occupation of Syria. How can somebody claiming ‘resistance’ stand with an occupation that resulted from American and Turkish occupation and Israeli aggression under the flag of a French occupier?”
Al-Assad was referring to the head of the political bureau of the Hamas movement, Ismail Haniyeh, as well as the former leader Khaled Meshaal, after they twice appeared in video clips carrying the flag adopted by the Syrian opposition, which Al-Assad describes as “the flag of the French occupation.”
Hamas’ leaders recently visited Damascus, and al-Assad described the relationship in more general terms: “We stand with every Palestinian party that stands against Israel in order to regain its rights. This is a general principle.”
However, he played down the prospect of the relationship returning to its pre-war level. “No, currently it does not have offices in Syria and it is too early to talk about such a thing. We have priorities now, and the battles inside Syria are our priority.”