First Published: 2012-11-08

 

Assad rejects exile: I will live and die in Syria

 

Syrian President rejects calls that he seek safe exit in interview with Russian Arabic-language channel Rusiya Al-Yaum.

 

Middle East Online

‘Nobody can predict what would happen’

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday rejected calls that he seek a safe exit, vowing he would "live and die in Syria", in an interview with Russian Arabic-language channel Rusiya Al-Yaum.

"I am not a puppet.... I am Syrian and I must live and die in Syria,"

Assad, who is facing a nearly 20-month revolt against his rule, told the channel according to transcripts published on its website.

British Prime Minister David Cameron this week floated the idea of granting Assad safe passage from the country, saying it "could be arranged" though he wanted the Syrian leader to face international justice.

Assad also warned against a foreign intervention to deal with Syria's escalating conflict, saying such a move would have "global consequences" and shake regional stability.

He said Syria was the "last bastion of secularism, stability and co-existence in the region" and that an intervention would have a "domino effect" that would affect "the world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific."

"The price of a foreign invasion of Syria, if it were to take place, would be higher than the world can afford to pay," he said.

"I don't think the West is going in this direction, but if it does, nobody can predict what would happen."

Many in Syria's opposition, including armed rebels waging fierce battles with pro-regime forces, have urged the international community to intervene to stop escalating bloodshed in the country that rights groups say has left more than 37,000 people dead.

 

Russian, Turkish FMs meet for first time since ties repaired

Four ministers sacked from Libya's unity government

At least 70 killed in north of Syria's Aleppo

Iranians mark annual Quds Day

Egypt becoming departure country for migrants to Europe

Turkish ship carrying Gaza aid leaves for Israel

Diplomatic quartet says Israel must cease settlement expansion

Monitor says Syrian regime pilot captured by rebels

Palestinian dies from tear gas fired by Israeli forces

Palestinian tries to stab Israeli in West Bank, shot dead

Ankara suicide attack mastermind killed

Istanbul airport attackers ‘planned hostage-taking’

Oil prices rise in Asia

US Navy probe finds leadership failings in Iran capture

Quartet report says Israel must urgently halt illegal settlement expansion

At least 70 killed in northern Aleppo clashes

Sisi praises Egyptian 'revolution' against Morsi

US-backed Syria rebels look to cut off ISIS from Iraq border

Egyptian Coptic priest shot dead in El-Arish

Iran sacks heads of four state banks over high pay

EU agrees to opens new chapter with Turkey on accession talks

Detained RSF Turkey representative released

Lebanese army says ISIS attacks foiled, 5 arrested

UN extends Darfur mission despite Sudan opposition

Air strikes kill 150 militants fleeing Fallujah

Turkey detains 13 over airport attack

Palestinian killed by Israeli troops after deadly attack

UN envoy seeks Syria peace talks’ resumption in July

Tunisian killed in Istanbul attack seeking to repatriate IS-linked son

Turkish forces kill 2 suspected IS jihadists at Syria border

Egypt president urges religious reforms to counter extremists

First aid convoy since 2012 enters two besieged Syria towns

Race to succeed Cameron begins after stunning Brexit vote

Yemen peace talks to take two-week break

Iraq secures $2.7 billion US military loan

ISIS pushes back Syria rebel offensive on Iraq route

Israel cabinet approves Turkey reconciliation deal

Turkey airport attack slams limping tourism industry

Putin lifts Turkey travel restrictions, orders trade 'normalised'

Fears for stranded Syrian refugees as Jordan blocks access

Bahrain activist back in jail despite worsening health

41 killed in Istanbul airport bomb, gun attacks

Witnesses recount Istanbul attack

Car bomb kills 10 in Kurdish-held Syria town

Ban to Israeli PM: Gaza blockade ‘collective punishment’