Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad reportedly denied he used chemical weapons against his people and said he did not even know a chemical weapons attack had occurred in his nation last month.
CBS News’ Charlie Rose interviewed Assad on Sunday, and Rose said on Face The Nation that Assad “denied he had anything to do with the attack” and “he denied that he knew in fact” there was a chemical attack. The entire interview will air on Monday evening.
The Syrian President reportedly told Rose there is not evidence yet to make a conclusive judgment about whether the attacks in August were even chemical attacks.
He also said he could not “confirm or deny we have chemical weapons” and suggested that the rebels may have had something to do with the attacks. Assad said if in fact he had chemical weapons, though, no one else would have access to them because there is centralized control.
Assad also reportedly told Rose that if President Barack Obama’s administration has evidence that he used chemical weapons, then it should show the evidence and make the case. He insisted there was no evidence that he used chemical weapons against his people.
Rose said Assad did not know whether the United States would strike, but he was prepared as he could be. Assad suggested there would be some kind of retaliation if the United States decided to strike militarily. He had a message to the American people to stay out of the Middle East because Americans have not had good experiences intervening in the region. Assad suggested the American people should communicate to their lawmakers in Congress to not give Obama the authorization to strike Syria. Rose said Assad was closely watching what was happening in Washington, and granted him the interview because he was cognizant of the political reality on the ground in America.