Press TV: How do you feel about this fight for the liberation of Palmyra?
Petras: I think it is a great victory for humanity, in the first instance for protecting these heritage sites. Secondly, it is a great victory for the Syrian people who have been terrorized by the Daesh regime, and thirdly it is a blow against terrorism worldwide because Palmyra along with other cities in Syria have been platforms from which terrorists have come from Europe, trained and returned to engage in the kinds of bombings that we see in Belgian airport and the metro and the attacks in Paris. We should recognize that the victory of the Bashar al-Assad’s government aided by the revolutionary guards in Iran, Hezbollah and the Russian Air Force are really fighting against global terrorism and not merely armed extremists engaged in warfare and conquest in Syria. One would wish now that the Western governments would stop supplying arms to the so-called Syrian rebels who are nothing but training bases for these terrorists that operate in these countries. Let’s remember one thing that these terrorists are national citizens of Belgium and France. They receive their training by freely travelling from their countries of origin to Syria through Turkey and return to plant the bombs in their countries of origin.
Press TV: Do you see any change or possible change in Western policy because obviously till now the US says it is Russia and the Syrian Arab Army who have had an unhelpful role in the country?
Petras: This is rubbish. The Turkish government has been aiding and abetting the flow of terrorists in and out of Syria. They have done virtually nothing until very recently, and I am talking about just last couple of days, in controlling these terrorists as they return to Europe to engage in these bombings. It is up to the Belgian and French governments and the rest of the EU to close down the flow of terrorists into Syria. The US government should smarten up and realize that these terrorist attacks that take place in Europe have their origin in the US support for the so-called rebels in Syria. The US government has to assume responsibility for fomenting territorial conquest by the terrorists who serve as training grounds and bomb training for the terrorists that return to Europe.
Press TV: When we talk about Russia specifically, many people were saying Russia was completely leaving and withdrawing from Syria but certainly that is not the case as proven by this fight over Palmyra to liberate it. How important will the Russian role be ongoing in Syria?
Petras: Russia will continue to attack the terrorists’ bases in Syria. They will continue to support a negotiated peace. Russia is playing an extraordinarily positive role in association with Iran and Hezbollah in eliminating the terrorists’ bases in northern Syria through which the terrorists in Europe are trained and I think it is now the obligation of the Europeans to put maximum pressure on the Erdogan regime to stop the flow of terrorists through Turkey and back through Turkey into Europe