Assad threatens world
Photo: AP

Assad threatens foreign leaders

President Assad warns world powers against intervening in Syria, says 'if you sow chaos…you may be infected by it yourself'; foreign mercenaries have been nabbed in country, he says

Countries that "sow chaos" in Syria could suffer from it themselves, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a Russian television station in an interview aired on Wednesday.


"For the leaders of these countries, it's becoming clear that this is not 'Spring' but chaos, and as I have said, if you sow chaos in Syria you may be infected by it yourself, and they understand this perfectly well," Assad said, referring to the Arab Spring that toppled long-entrenched leaders in the Middle East.


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In his remarks, Assad referred specifically to France, saying that he hoped Paris would change its policies in the Middle East and Arab world under President Francois Hollande, warning against "inciting chaos and crisis."


"I hope the new president will think about the interests of France," Assad told Russia's Rossiya-24 television. "I am certain that they do not lie in further inciting chaos and crisis in the Middle East and the whole Arab world."


'Foreign mercenaries captured'

Assad said Western sanctions are affecting Syria's economy but Damascus has a "wonderful relationship" with non-Western countries.


Assad also said in the interview broadcast Wednesday that his country has captured foreign mercenaries who were fighting for the opposition and is ready to show them to the world. In addition, he complained that Western countries protest the violence by his regime's forces but not by the opposition fighters.


Assad said religious extremists and al-Qaeda members from abroad are among the forces fighting his government.


"There are foreign mercenaries, some of them still alive. They are being detained and we are preparing to show them to the world," he said.


Referring to the main rebel organization, Syria's National Council, he said: "I don't think that they have any kind of weight or significance within Syria."


Reuters and AP contributed to the story




פרסום ראשון: 05.16.12, 19:58
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