Assad to RT: 'I'm not Western puppet - I have to live and die in Syria'
“We are the last stronghold of secularism and stability in the region and coexistence, let’s say, it will have a domino effect that will affect the world from the Atlantic to the Pacific and you know the implication on the rest of the world,” Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad told RT in an exclusive interview that will air on Friday, November 9.
“I am not a puppet. I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other country,” he said. “I am Syrian, I was made in Syria, I have to live in Syria and die in Syria,” Assad said during the interview.
Syria has been wracked by internal violence for the past 20 months. With the government and opposition failing to reach an agreement on a ceasefire, foreign nations are pressuring the Syrian president to step down, with some even calling for armed intervention in the war-torn country.
“I do not think the West is going [to intervene], but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next,” Assad said. “I think the price of this [foreign] invasion if it happened is going to be more than the whole world can afford.”
According to a Turkish official, Ankara has officially requested that NATO deploy Patriot missiles along the border with Syria, over fears that armed conflict could spill across the border.
The armed conflict in Syria has turned increasingly violent in recent months. Rebel forces have received significant financial, diplomatic and organizational support from countries like the US and Western-allied nations such as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
However, the opposition has yet to overcome infighting and form a united government. The rebels’ Western allies have also become concerned by signs that radical Islamists are gaining strength and influence within the opposition.
You can watch the Syrian president’s interview in full on Friday on RT.