LONDON, October 30 (Itar-Tass) — If Western countries invade Damascus, they “risk to kindle a fire that will engulf the entire Middle East”, said Syrian President Bashar Assad in an interview with the British newspaper Sunday Telegraph, published on Sunday.
According to the president, attempts by foreign states to interfere in Syria’s domestic affairs will tell negatively on the situation all over the region.
“Now Syria is the Middle East centre, the place where tectonic plates collide,” Assad said. “If somebody play with this, they will trigger off an earthquake. Any problem in Syria will set fire to the entire region.”
The Syrian president also emphasised that his country differs from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and other Arab countries in all aspects which were swept by anti-government unrest since the start of the year. “We have another history and another policy,” he said with confidence. In the president’s opinion, a repetition of “the Libyan scenario” is out of question.
The president admitted that the country’s authorities committed “numerous mistakes” since the start of the Syrian uprising. However, in the president’s opinion, the situation has improved: “I started to carry out reforms six days after the start of disorders. People treated them sceptically, calling them ‘Opium for people’. But following the start of changes, these problems started diminishing.
“The swing came precisely at that time; people started supporting the government precisely at that time.”
Mass disorders in Syria have been going on since last March. Assad’s opponents stage daily numerous demonstrations in streets of Syrian cities, demanding the president’s immediate resignation and reforms. The country’s authorities, using army units, toughly quash protest actions, which provokes growing concern of the world community.
According to data of the United Nations, more than 3,000 people were killed since the start of rioting in the country as a result of clashes between protesters and security forces.