PARIS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday that France will face negative repercussions if Paris and its allies launch a military intervention against his country.
"Anybody who contributes to the financial and military reinforcement of terrorists is the enemy of the Syrian people. The French are not our enemy... but if the policies of the French state are hostile to the Syrian people, the state will be their enemy," Assad said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro.
"There will be repercussions, negative ones obviously, on French interests," the Syrian president said, adding that a Western-led strike on Damascus would "set off a powder keg" and the condition would "lose control once exploded."
"Chaos and extremism would ensue and there is a risk of regional war," he warned.
According to media reports, a French intelligence report presented to lawmakers on Monday showed forces loyal to Assad were behind the alleged chemical attack in Damascus on Aug. 21.
But the Syrian president denied the allegations.
He "challenged the United States and France to come up with a single piece of proof."
"Obama and Hollande have been incapable of doing so," he added.
While the British parliament vetoed last week any military action against Syria and U.S. President Barack Obama decided to consult the Congress, French President Francois Hollande reaffirmed his determination to punish the perpetrators and will discuss the Syrian issue during an emergency parliament meeting on Wednesday.
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The samples collected by UN inspectors from the site of the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attacks in Syria were shipped from The Hague, the Netherlands, Monday and will reach their designated laboratories "within hours, " said a UN spokesman.
"The samples were shipped this afternoon from The Hague and will reach their destination within hours," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said in a note emailed to reporters here. "The designated laboratories are prepared to begin the analyses immediately after receipt of samples." Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept.2 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said if the Western countries have evidence about his administration's involvement in a chemical gas attack, they would have declared it, the state-run SANA news agency reported Monday.
"If the Americans, French or British have evidence about the alleged chemical weapon attack, they would have declared it," the president told the Le Figaro, a French daily newspaper, in a recent interview whose excerpts were carried by SANA. Full story
PARIS, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- French intelligence reports indicated that the chemical attack of Aug. 21 in Damascus was conducted by the Syrian government forces.
The nine-page intelligence report, declassified by the French government on Monday, said since April this year, at least three chemical attacks including the one on Aug. 21 taking place in Syria, were staged by the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Full story
MOSCOW, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- An initiative to send a delegation of Russian lawmakers for direct talks with their U.S. colleagues on Syrian problem is timely and correct, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.
"Indeed, in order to better understand each other, there is no other way but a direct and open dialogue with arguments and with the presentation of positions," Putin told the heads of the Parliament's Upper House, or the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko and Lower House, or the State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday invited Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to the White House to discuss military intervention in Syria as the administration is bracing for Congressional approval of strikes against Bashar al-Assad's government for punishing it for the alleged Aug. 21 use of chemical weapons on its citizens.
After the meeting with Obama, McCain warned against the peril of not backing up the president on an expressed threat to use force. Full story