Assad: Syria facing armed fighters, not peaceful demonstrators
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned that any military intervention against his regime would lead to "very dire" repercussions and said he is willing to die for his country. In an interview with The Sunday Times, al-Assad said that Syria "will not bow down."
According to him, recent attacks on the Syrian army showed he was facing armed fighters, not peaceful demonstrators. "The conflict will continue, and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue," he told the British newspaper. "Syria will not bow down."
Al-Assad vowed he would personally fight and die to resist foreign forces. He accused the Arab League of helping pave the way for western intervention. "If they are logical, rational and realistic, they shouldn't do it because the repercussions are very dire," he said. "Military intervention will destabilize the region as a whole, and all countries will be affected."
Al-Assad disputed reports that over 3000 civilians have been killed. His office placed the actual number is 619. "We, as a state, do not have a policy to be cruel with citizens," he conveyed. "The important thing is to look for the wrongdoers and hold them responsible for their actions."
Meanwhile, at least two rocket-propelled grenades have hit a building of Syria's governing Baath Party in the capital Damascus, residents and activists said. The opposition Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) said "several" RPG rockets were launched at the Baath Party building in the Mazraa district and that two fire brigades have been dispatched to the area.