CBS’s “This Morning” has released a series of clips from Charlie Rose’s exclusive interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the leader’s only television interview since President Obama asked Congress to evaluate striking Syria after a chemical attack wiped out hundreds of Syrians. The interview was taped on Sunday and will be broadcast in full on Monday night on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS.
Assad denied responsibility for the attack and said that the U.S. has no evidence to prove that his regime perpetrated it. Citing that his own soldiers were attacked as well, Assad said, “In the area where they said the government used chemical weapons, we only had video and we only have pictures and allegations. We’re not there. Our forces—our police, our institutions don’t exist. How can you talk about what happened if you don’t have evidences?”
Assad also argued that striking is “against the interests of the United States” because it will “support al Qaeda”:
“The first question that they should ask themselves, what do wars give America? Things we have till now, nothing. No political gain, no economic gain, no good reputation. United States is at all low, dying, the credibility is at all low— all-time low. So this war is against the interests of the United States. Why?
First of all, because this is the war that is going to support Al Qaeda and the same people that kill Americans in the 11 of September. The second thing that we all want to tell to the Congress, that they should ask and that what we expect, we expect them to ask this administration about the evidence that they have regarding the chemical story and the allegations that they presented.”
But should the U.S. strike, Syria will be prepared, warned Assad:
Rose: “Will there be attacks against American bases in Middle East if there is an airstrike?”
Assad: “You should expect everything. You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government. It’s not only the government are not the only player in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology. You have everything in this region now. So you have to expect that.”
Rose: “Including chemical warfare?”
Assad: “That depends if the if the rebels or the terrorists in this region or any other group have it, it could happen I don’t know. I am not fortune teller to tell you what’s going to happen.”