Syrian president Bashar Assad doesn’t know if American military intervention in Syria will have any consequences, but he warned Charlie Rose during an interview that aired in excerpts on Monday morning that Americans should “expect everything.”
“You should expect everything. Not necessarily through the government,” Assad said when Rose asked about consequences of a U.S. air strike. “The governments are not the only player in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideologies. You have everything in this region, so you have to expect that. Expect every action.”
Portions of the interview aired during CBS’ news program “This Morning,” and the exchange will air in full at 9 p.m. during Rose’s PBS program.
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President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve military intervention in Syria, which has allegedly committed a number of human rights atrocities over the years, including the use of chemical weapons against its own people.
Assad would not say if the Syrian government would respond to U.S. attacks with chemical warfare, but did not rule out other parties from doing so.
“That depends if the rebels or the terrorists, or any other group in these region has it. It could happen,” Assaid said. “I don’t know. I’m not fortune teller.”
Congress may vote on whether or not to go to war with Syria as early as next week. Assad took advantage of the exposure to American audiences to lay out his argument against war, which echoes the sentiment of the American public, according to numerous polls.
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“The first question they should ask themselves is, ‘What do wars give America?’ Nothing. No political gain, no economic gain, no good reputation — the United States’ credibility is at an all time low. This war is against the interests of the United States. Why? Because it is going to support Al Qaeda and the same people that kill Americans in the 11 of September,” Assad said. “The second thing that we want to tell to the Congress, that they should ask this administration about the evidence that they have regarding the chemical story and allegations that they presented.”
Assad doesn’t believe Obama’s administration has any evidence that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, and implored them to “be transparent” and show what evidence they do have to the American public.
“He didn’t present it, because he doesn’t have,” Assad said. “If they had it, they would have presented it to you as media.”
Rose argued that the evidence was presented to the Congress, the elected representatives of the American people, but Assad shot back “nothing has been presented so far.”
“You are a reporter,” Assad said. “Get this evidence and show it to the people of your country.”
Watch three clips from the interview below: