West’s intervention in Syria to ignite ‘war’


ASSAD SPEAKS. A handout picture released by the Syrian presidency media office and made on September 2, 2013 in Damascus shows Syrian president Bashar al-Assad answering questions by French journalist Georges Malbrunot. AFP photo

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad warned that Western military strikes risked igniting a “regional war” in the “powder keg” of the Middle East. In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, he also said France would face “repercussions” if it took part in US-led plans for military action in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by Assad’s regime last month. “Everyone will lose control of the situation once the powder keg explodes. Chaos and extremism will spread. There is a risk of regional war.” Assad said that at the start of the crisis, now into its 3rd year, a solution could have been found through dialogue or political measures but the situation today was “different.”

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