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.

 

Turkish warplanes pound Kurdish forces in Iraq, Syria

US criticizes 1915 massacres in Armenia

Iran, major powers to review adherence to nuclear deal

Netanyahu cancels talks with German FM over NGO meetings

Young Iraqi innovator building home-made drones

Baghdad condemns Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish forces

IS executes Iraqi civilians in Mosul

Qatar World Cup workers receive random health checks

Libyan government calls for foreign intervention as fighting spreads

Tunisia parliament votes to ease harsh drug law

Nostalgia dominates Iraqi Ba’ath conference in Spain

Moroccans call on Le Pen voters to quit country

Turkey court rejects opposition challenge to referendum result

Spain arrests 4 for links to Belgium IS attacks

Iraq forces push towards UNESCO site in Hatra

Israel appoints country's first female sharia judge

Frontline clinic is window to hell of IS-held Mosul

Iraq forces retake west Mosul neighbourhood from IS

Iraqi Kurds lament ‘unacceptable’ Turkish air strikes

Khamenei urges Iran candidates to focus on home

UN chief urges donors to prevent Yemen famine

Yemen’s ‘march for bread’ protestors end week-long march

Jailed British-Iranian sees final appeal rejected in Tehran

Iran election may be pointer to race for supreme leader

US-backed forces enter key IS-held Syria town Tabqa

Israel probe clears officer who shot teen attackers

Syria ‘ready’ to halt fire for chemical attack probe

Israel charges teenager for bomb threats against Jewish institutions

Egypt sentences 20 to death over 2013 police killings

Erdogan accuses researcher of 'inciting assassination'

Qatar Airways CEO accuses US carriers of ‘bullying’

At least 15 migrants drown near Lesbos

Former employees work to salvage Mosul University

Jordan wary about jihadists wishing to return home

US fires opening shots in confrontation with Iran

Mattis sees Saudi Arabia ‘helping across the region’

Sirens, silence as Israel remembers Holocaust

Houthis intensify crackdown on dissent in Yemen

Italian reporter released in Turkey

Algiers summons Morocco envoy over Syrian migrant row

Macron, Le Pen gird for final French election duel

Iran reverses decision to ban live presidential debates

Six Israelis including two soldiers held for anti-Arab attacks

Economists, rights advocates concerned over Egypt’s state of emergency

US Defense Secretary Mattis visits strategic Djibouti