WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Wednesday dismissed as incredible Syrian President Bashar Assad's denial in an interview that he had ordered a crackdown on protesters in his country.
"The world has witnessed what's happened in Syria. The United States and many, many other nations around the world who have come together to condemn the atrocious violence in Syria perpetrated by the Assad regime know exactly what's happening and who is responsible," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
"And I don't think anybody who watched that interview would find Mr. Assad's answers credible," he added.
In an interview with the ABC TV network released on Wednesday, Assad said "We don't kill our people ... no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person."
"There was no command to kill or be brutal," he said at another point.
The United Nations puts the death toll in Syria at more than 4, 000 since anti-government protests broke out in mid-March. The Arab League and Turkey have joined the U.S. and European Union in increasing pressure on the country by imposing targeted sanctions in an effort to force Assad to relinquish power.
Assad told ABC that "Most of the people that have been killed are supporters of the government, not the vice versa."
He conceded that some members of his armed forces went too far, but added that they were punished for their actions.
"Every brute reaction was by an individual, not by an institution, that's what you have to know. There is a difference between having a policy to crackdown and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference," he said.