The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: There is no doubt that the flow of American arms to Syria would bring about negative results, but the question is what would be the fate of these weapons – what is the worst-case scenario?
Rickard: The worst case scenario is that these weapons fall into the hands of, yet again, [what] they call them moderate groups. I challenge the United States or any of its NATO partners to find a ‘moderate group’ that has been fighting against al-Assad for three years.
These moderate groups they call are more or less mercenaries-for-hire that have been put into place by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, even out of Chechnya. And these are people who are ‘warriors at heart’.
They’ve been fighting many battles for the Americans and these are people who like Mahdi al-Harati have been making grave death and destruction across Syria through the support and on the backs of mercenaries completely supported by their American and NATO partners as well as their allies.
So, these weapons falling into the wrong hands – quite simply they certainly could. They are not giving them any anti-aircraft weapons, they are giving them rockets and they’re giving them anti-tank weapons, things that work very effectively against ground forces… and they talked in the area of about 27 million dollars worth.
We’re talking about well over two billion dollars over the last three years of them being supplied through Qatar and also through Turkey. Now…Erdogan has become nothing more than a NATO puppet throughout these last two or three years.
And certainly after the criminal invasion and overthrow of Gaddafi (in Libya), that country was used as a staging place, which led to the murder of Chris Stevens (US Ambassador) because he was heavily involved in the arms dealing coming out of Qatar through Libya into Syria.
Press TV: With the reelection of Bashar al-Assad as president, what policy change can we expect from Washington if at all?
Rickard: The policy coming out of Washington is extremely embarrassing, [including] Susan Rice’s commentary talking about fighting terrorism in Syria….
The US and its NATO allies are actually instigating terrorism in Syria. The policy is extremely aggressive and extremely criminal; and these kinds of instigations and arming individuals against a sovereign nation, which by the way Assad attained 75 percent of the vote and many people celebrated the win by Assad last week.
This was a true representation of sovereignty and a true representation that was completely ignored and they actually made a mockery of the election in the United States. John Kerry was absolutely spreading propaganda.
So, no, the policy unfortunately is an embarrassment. The fact that Susan rice made those announcements to the press during the 70th Anniversary of D-Day is a dishonor to every veteran and every man and woman that ever contributed to the freedom of this nation because right now Syria has not actually done anything against any country and the Americans are continuing a multi-year criminal war against Syria.