In Al Jazeera Arabic clip that was translated and posted to YouTube on Tuesday, a TV presenter asks his guests and viewers why the Syrian government and army cannot be more humane with respect to civilians, like the Israeli or French armies.
Making the point that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his allies in the ongoing civil war, particularly Hezbollah, take no precautions to spare civilians, often firing on heavily populated areas, Dr. Faisal Al-Qassem asks:
“Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army which tries, through great efforts, to avoid shelling areas populated by civilians in Lebanon and Palestine? Didn’t Hezbollah take shelter in areas populated by civilians because it knows that Israeli air force doesn’t bomb those areas? Why doesn’t the Syrian army respect premises of universities, schools or inhabited neighborhoods? Why does it shell even the areas of its supporters?”
His two guests go on to debate the issue boisterously, one of them agreeing with al-Qassem.
“I will also give you the example of France,” the host offers. “All Syrians remember that the French forces, when they occupied Syria tried to avoid, when rebels entered mosques or schools, they stopped. The people would prefer that France come back! For god’s sake, if a referendum were to be held… if people were to be asked, who would you prefer the current regime or the French, I swear by God they would have preferred the French.”
Turning to one of the guests, al-Qassem says, “The Israeli army, if it wanted to break up a demonstration, would have used water cannons or rubber bullets, not rockets or explosive barrels as happens in Aleppo today.”
The second guest, after agreeing with al-Qassem on the humaneness of the Israeli and French armies, points to the Syrian massacres at Baniyas and Darayya, where scores of civilians were slaughtered at the hands of the Assad regime and paramilitary forces.
The video was highlighted by journalist Tom Gross.