Syrian President Bashar Assad took advantage of the interview he gave to Syrian state television on Sunday and responded to U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for him to resign by saying Obama is the one who should resign.
Assad said in the interview that the U.S. stands alongside Israel “who commits crimes against Arabs and Palestinians.”
“What the West says does not interest us,” Assad said. “If we understand that these countries support the crimes of Israelis against the Palestinians, then we understand what this is all about.”
The Associated Press reported that in the interview, Assad also said he expected a parliamentary election to be held in Syria in February of 2012, along with a series of reforms that would let political groups other than his Baath party to participate.
According to the report, Assad also warned against Libya-style military intervention in his country, saying there will be “repercussions” to any country interfering in Syria’s affairs.
Earlier it was reported that Assad said in the interview the opposition in Syria has become 'more militant' in recent weeks, blithely adding he is “not worried.”
“As for the security situation, [it] has become more militant in the recent weeks and specially last Friday. We are capable of dealing with it. [I] am not worried,” he was quoted as saying.
Last Friday gunmen loyal to Assad killed fourteen protesters in the seminal protest-city of Dara'a when demonstrations were staged there after Friday's weekly afternoon Muslim prayers. The slayings came one day after Assad promised United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon operations against civilians 'were over.'
Sunday's TV interview was Assad's fourth public appearance since the revolt against his family's 40-year rule erupted in mid-March, but this is the first time he has agreed to take questions - albeit from the state-owned network.