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CBS TV interview with Assad: US should ‘expect everything’ in retaliation

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PBS host Charlie Rose spoke to Bob Schieffer Sunday on CBS News about his interview with Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The interview, held at the presidential palace in Damascus, will fully air Monday night on PBS’s “The Charlie Rose Show.”

This marks Assad’s first interview with an American TV network in nearly two years, and his first since President Obama called for a limited strike against that country, according to CBS.

Rose told Schieffer that Assad denied responsibility or even knowledge of the sarin gas attack.

While neither confirming nor denying a Syrian stockpile of chemical weapons, Assad said that if his country possessed them, they would be maintained in a “centralized control” beyond the access of unauthorized personnel.

Listen to the exchange between Rose and Schieffer, courtesy of CBS News.

In this excerpt of the Assad interview, which aired on CBS Monday morning, the Syrian president told Rose that if the United States were to launch a limited attack against his country, “You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government.”

Assad warned Rose that Syria is “not the only player in this region.” Middle Eastern allies that have promised retaliation for an attack on Syria include Iran and the militant Islamic group Hezbollah.

In addition, both Russia and China have publicly supported Syria, and have each sent warships to the east Mediterranean off the Syrian coast.

“You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology. You have everything in this region now,” said Assad.

Assad has denied from the beginning that his country had engaged in chemical warfare against his own people. When questioned about the possibility of future uses of chemical weaponry, he said “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.”

Watch the excerpt of the Assad interview, courtesy of CBS News.

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