DAMASCUS, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Foreign intervention in Syria would "cause a temblor that could burn the entire Middle East," Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned in an interview with the British Sunday Telegraph.
Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely," he said in the interview published on Sunday. "But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different."
"If the West's plan is to divide Syria, it would drag to divide the whole region," Assad added.
The Syrian authorities had made "many mistakes" at the start of the unrest, the president said, adding that only "terrorists" were being targeted now.
He described the uprising as a "struggle between the Islamism and the pan-Arabism, saying "We've been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them."
In an interview with Russia's state-run Channel One television, Assad said he relies on the supportive Russian stance toward Syria, stressing the important role Russia has played since the beginning of the crisis in mid-March.
Assad underlined the historical relations of the two countries, saying that he had briefed the Russians on what is happening in Syria in details.
He noted that Russia has played an important role in the international arena when it vetoed a UN resolution against Syria, suggesting that the Russian veto emanated from its knowledge of the risks of the international intervention in Syria.
The Syrian government blamed the unrest on armed groups and thugs acting out a foreign conspiracy, citing the killing of more than 1,000 army personnel during the turmoil. However, the United Nations estimated that more than 3,000 people had been killed over the past seven months.
Syria has faced mounting international condemnation for its violent response to protesters, including being the subject of sanctions by the United States and the European Union.
Libya scenario not to repeat in Syria: Assad
MOSCOW, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The "Libyan scenario" is unlikely to repeat in Syria as the two countries are so different, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday in an interview with Russia's Channel One television.
"Syria is not Libya, it is a different country from the geographical, demographic and political points of view. Any similar scenario will cost dearly to its producers. Besides, such a scenario is virtually unfeasible in Syria," Assad said. Full story
Arab League sends urgent letter to Syria over violence
CAIRO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- A ministerial committee set up by the Arab League (AL) sent an urgent letter to the Syrian government on Friday to express its anger over the continued bloodshed in the country, said a statement issued by the pan-Arab body late Friday.
The committee hoped the Syrian government could protect its civilians as the committee had urged it, said the statement. Full story