Assad says U.S. aggression against Syria still possible

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview broadcast Thursday that his country was committed to the convention against chemical weapons it signed under a U.S.-Russian deal.

Assad, speaking to Venezuela’s Telesur, said he saw “no obstacles” to the deal’s implementation but that he did not rule out a U.S. military strike against his regime.

“Syria is generally committed to all the agreements that it signs,” he said in the interview published by the Syrian state news agency SANA.

While the deal halted talk of a U.S. military strike on Syria, Assad said “the possibility of aggression is always there.”

“This time the pretext is chemical weapons, next time it will be something else,” he said.

The Syrian leader also accused U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration of “fabrications and lies.”

Last week, as part of the U.S.-Russian deal, Damascus had begun to send the required details of its chemical arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“Experts (from the OPCW) will come to Syria in the coming period to look into the status of these weapons,” he said.

“As the Syrian government, there are no serious obstacles.

“But there is always the possibility that the terrorists will obstruct the work of the experts by preventing them from accessing certain places,” Assad added, in reference to what the Syrian regime calls all those fighting against it “terrorists.”

Assad’s government denies involvement in an August 21 chemical attack which killed hundreds of people in the Damascus suburbs. But the president agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal in the face of threatened U.S. military action in response.

Assad said his government would ensure the U.N. experts, who have confirmed sarin gas was used in the August attack, were also able to move around freely, insisting that his regime had invited them to come.

“We are the ones who invited them to come to Syria in March when the terrorists used poison gas in a suburb of the city of Aleppo,” he said.

On the topic of a United Nations Security Council resolution allowing sanctions or the use of force against Damascus, Assad said his country was not concerned.

“Today there is balance in the Security Council,” he said, referring to ally Russia, which has provided Damascus with diplomatic cover throughout the 30-month uprising.

(With AFP)

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