August 31st, 2012
06:52 AM ET

U.S.: Assad "disconnected from reality"

By Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Bashar al-Assad is "increasingly disconnected from reality," according to a senior Obama administration official in dismissing assertions by the Syrian president that the situation in his violence-torn country is improving.

The White House added that Assad's comments only showed "how delusional" the embattled leader has become.

"Only if 'better' means more Syrian people - innocent Syrian people – are dying at the hands of his soldiers; only 'better' if it means that his thugs are moving through the streets of various cities and rounding people up," presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

The Obama administration sentiment came as Human Rights Watch reported that Syrian forces had bombed and fired artillery at 10 bakeries in Aleppo province, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.

"It's appalling and disgusting," said the senior official, who was not authorized to comment on the record.

"We have instances of the Syrian regime firing on people who are clearly non-combatants, who are clearly lined up buying food to feed their families, their children, and they're literally being attacked and massacred standing in bread lines. We've seen reports of that and we find it utterly abhorrent and people will be held to account," the official said.

Despite Assad's statement that his regime eventually would restore the country to what it was before the conflict began 18 months ago, the official said the opposition now controls larger and larger areas in Syria's north and east and that Assad is trying to hold onto the two main cities of Aleppo and Damascus.

"The people's will has not been broken," the official said.

Syrians continued to flee the fighting, with an estimated 200,000 now taking refuge in neighboring countries. Within Syria 1.5 million people have been displaced and 2.5 million are in need of urgent assistance, according to the United Nations.

Britain and France on Thursday called for urgent contributions from all nations to the U.N. relief fund, which is 50 percent funded.

The United States is providing $82 million in humanitarian assistance for Syrians needing clothing and shelter, regardless of their loyalties in the conflict, according to the State Department. The United States is also training the Syrian opposition on governance as more areas slip from regime control.

Another $25 million is being provided to the opposition as non-lethal support, providing assistance like radios and communication equipment, medical supplies and training.

At the United Nations, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced on Thursday that Britain would increase aid for Syrian refugees to the equivalent of more than $48 million. The aid will go toward medical supplies inside Syria and to help women refugees in Jordan who have been victims of sexual violence in conflict.

"We call on other nations to increase their funding - and on (U.N.) Security Council members to set a strong lead," he said. "And to that end, the UK and France will propose a meeting of development ministers with U.N. agencies in the coming weeks, to encourage increased donations."

But when it comes to using military power to protect refugees, western nations are more cautious. Turkey has suggested that the West create safe zones within Syria. But the United States is calling for increased international help for neighboring countries, like Turkey, to assist refugees within those countries' borders.

Hague concurred: "We are ruling nothing out and we have contingency planning for a wide range of scenarios," he said in New York. "We don't generally go into what all that contingency planning is, but we also have to be clear that anything like a safe zone requires military intervention and that, of course, is something that has to be weighed very carefully and, of course, it is not something to which the United Nations Security Council has assented, or would be likely to assent to, in current circumstances."

At a meeting of non-aligned nations in Tehran, Egyptian president Mohammed Morsy assailed Iran's support of the Assad government, that regime "oppressive" and claiming that it "had lost legitimacy."

The U.S official said Morsy's strong comments made the Iranians "very uncomfortable" and it "was a good thing that he did this."

"They (Iran) wanted to roll out everything as 'business is normal' and they had to hear some very unpleasant messages because some of this stuff is nasty. I mean, they are actively supporting violent repression and they have a very active hand in it."

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Kapolei_dad56

    The CIA is living in a dysfunctional world in an altered state. The CIAQ has told so many lies and is trying to start WW III. Like the Russians are just going to stand by and lose their only warm water port. The CIA should lose all of its funding because they are just trying to start wars to promote their existence!!!

    September 4, 2012 at 5:42 am | Reply
  2. Victoria

    The President is innocent. The military took over without permission. It is a military coup. CNN has no idea what it is talking about. Get Christiaine Amanpeur PLEASE!

    September 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  3. fghjklijtf

    its done he is finished its over boom

    September 1, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  4. Joseph Zrnchik

    Turkey would have no reason to establish any safe zones if it would stop funding, supporting and providing a base of operation for al Qaeda and other Sunni radical militants from which these forces attack Syria. This war would end tomorrow if the US and NATO would stop using these jihadists as proxies to attack Syria and thus Iran. The Saudi and Turkish calls for safe haven are a joke as Turkey committed genocide against Armenians thereby killing many millions and oppressing 30 million Kurds. The Saudis oppress millions of Shiites and funded the 9/11 attackers. They are one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the Middle East. The Syria situation clearly demonstrates that Saudi Arabia continues to fund al Qaeda terror. The Saudi regime must be crushed. This collusion with al Qaeda proves 9/11 and the Global War on Terror was a scam to establish a police state and interventionist government for imperial theft. How many Syrians attacked the US on 9/11? Zero. They were all Saudi Sunnis and a few Jordanians. The Syrians are enemies of the 9/11 attackers. So, why are we helping al Qaeda against Syria?

    September 1, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • Ronald

      Too much stress can cause a psychosis (a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality", during which hallucinations and delusions and impaired insight may occur).

      Perhaps it's time for some adequate medication?

      November 30, 2012 at 4:41 am | Reply
  5. George Patton

    What would one expect the right-wing thugs in Washington to say about Bahar al-Assad anyway? They'll say anything to brainwash the public about Syria. Unfortunately, they're only too successfull at it!!!

    September 1, 2012 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • Jack

      You are no American. Far from it. You are using the name of a great American General where you have not even a clue as to what he stood for. You are a very lame, foreign troller who know little about the world and the American public.

      September 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  6. Canuck

    The CNN is a joke, thought you could believe them until you realize they only let you post what they want to hear, and then you realize they print useless fictional stories like when they fact-checked the BigFoot finding a couple of years ago, and let it get to the point where they were televising a press conference.

    Last time I ever post on this joke of a website!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Reply
    • Salute My Flag-Pole

      You whine and snivel like a typical Canuck.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:38 am | Reply
  7. Canuck

    Its always hilarious when you can put together a thoughtful post and it doesnt get posted but if you start babbling pro-assad bullsh!t it gets posted everytime. CNN you fail!!!

    August 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you, Canuck. Now I see why many of my posts are either blocked or later deleted.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  8. Tony

    Assad thugs are trying to spill their dirts and problems into Lebanon. The libanese christians know Assad very well, we will never forget what you have done in Ashrafiah, Zehli, Damoor..ect. Assad thugs assasinated many honest christain figures. May Chediak is a clear example of that. Her prayer been answered in what happen to Maher Assad.

    August 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      It appears Tony, that you have been taken in by the C.I.A. They want you to believe what you posted above. They don't call these people the Masters of Deceit for nothing!!!

      September 1, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
      • Harshad

        Thank you for some other magnificent post. The place else may just aydobny get that type of information in such an ideal means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I'm at the search for such information.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  9. Tony

    The fight in syria is between evils and good. It is amazing that Assad thugs and loyalist still appearing on CNN posts. The whole world see the truth except those who are filled with hate and inhumanity and still backing the criminal Bashar Al Assad and his nousari family. The syrian people will eventually irradicate you criminals. Not all Aalawite are involved in this crime many evil sunni ,christans and others are involved. Your fate will be like Quadafi

    August 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Mkultra

      Aaaahh my friend I think your completely unaware of Syria situation.better to search in Internet to find the truth.yes first it was by people but know even Germany's spy agency confirmed presence of al-Qaeda sons of ....now it's not people it's terrorists from every where with support of our dear government that are slaughtering people.you can see videos on Internet..

      August 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  10. michael oduola

    One more thing.. Is US, UK, and others imperialist telling the Whole World that Isreal does n't posses Nuclear Bomb..? Pls let stop the Decive game. And trying to fight a one sided war, änd puting a blame on a part of government. Pls would there be another Hitler so all the dirty arsnal will be put to use.. Afterall, africa is not where it suppose to be bcos of these wicked imperilist actions against the blaçk. Let hell get loose and Hitler rewok€ñ!

    August 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  11. michael oduola

    Long live Syria's Assad, long live Iran, long live Russia and China too.. Becouse Chemical and Atomic Bomb are needed to fight those imperial masters. Is either the whole World should scrab Nuclear Bombs Arsnals or everybody should be Quite about it! I love jesus too.

    August 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  12. outspoken

    Is Uncle Sam helpless for his nephew's helplessness ?

    August 31, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Wow. Assad's disconnect from reality would make him a perfect Republican Presidential Candidate.

    August 31, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Mkultra

      Yes one of those mindless republicans

      August 31, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Saroj

      just sayin but i am not willing to stand up to the most peruwfol millitary force known to man.. i know sad right? v.v . maybe if our entire country went back to the way it used to maybe like the 1940 s or 1950 s then it would get better i mean it seemed better back then o: ?

      October 10, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
  14. Jake M

    What about the one-sided, biased, politically driven, half-true reporting on Syria from the media, that is really what is disconnected from reality.

    August 31, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • Wayne

      One thing you have to say for Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Russia, and perhaps China, they have their trolls working overtime to try and muddle the waters. The truth is that the FSA exists because whoever is running the Syrian military (maybe not even Bashar), shot, murdered and raped peaceful demonstrators. Since the actual war has started maybe the FSA has had some committed some atrocities but those atrocities are dwarfed by the purposeful slaughter of civilians by the Syrian government.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Mkultra

        Ah many days ago our government gave several million$ to those terrorists in there to kill people and cut heads of people and security forces you didn't mentioned this part

        August 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.