Assad Warns of ‘Regional War’
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a French newspaper that military intervention from France and the United States could set off a “powder keg” and “regional war”, while denying his forces had used chemical weapons.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told French daily Le Figaro that use of nerve gas against targets in rebel-held parts of Syria would have been “illogical”, while warning that an attack on his country could set off a “regional war”.
In excerpts of an interview to be published in full in Tuesday’s edition of the newspaper (and for paying customers of its website from 10pm Paris time Monday), Assad challenged French President François Hollande and US President Barak Obama to provide convincing proof that he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people.
"Those who make accusations must show evidence,” he told Le Figaro. “We challenge the United States and France to do this. Obama and Hollande have been incapable of doing this, including for their own people.”
Military intervention against his country, he added, would “set off a powder keg” that “everyone would lose control of once ignited”.
“Chaos and extremism would ensue,” he said. “There is a risk of regional war.”
France, he warned, would become the enemy of the Syrian state: “Whoever contributes financial or military support to the terrorists is an enemy of the Syrian people.
“If the French state shows itself to be hostile to the Syrian people, that state becomes its enemy.
“This hostility will only end when the French state changes its policies. There will be certainly negative repercussions for French interests.”