Assad says West will pay for backing al Qaeda in Syria

BEIRUT Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:44pm EDT

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) attends an interview with Syrian television channel al-Ikhbariya in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on April 17, 2013. REUTERS/SANA/Handout

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) attends an interview with Syrian television channel al-Ikhbariya in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on April 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/SANA/Handout

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western nations will suffer the consequences for what he said was their support for al Qaeda militants in his country's civil war.

"The West has paid heavily for funding al Qaeda in its early stages in Afghanistan. Today it is supporting it in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price later in the heart of Europe and the United States," he told Syrian television channel al-Ikhbariya, according to extracts published on the Syrian presidency's Facebook page on Wednesday.

Assad was speaking a week after Syria's rebel al-Nusra Front, one of the most effective rebel forces battling his troops, formally pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

The United States has designated the Nusra Front a terrorist organization and the presence of militant Islamists in Syria's two-year conflict poses a quandary for Western powers who favor Assad's overthrow, but are alarmed at the growing influence of the Islamists in Syria.

"The truth is, what is happening is that we are mainly facing extremist forces," Assad said in the interview.

The United Nations says more than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which started as mainly peaceful protests two years ago but has evolved into a civil war.

(Reporting by Dominic Evans and Mariam Karouny; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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Comments (6)
kommy wrote:
For once, he is right.

Apr 17, 2013 2:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lemming wrote:
This is completely odd… Holy smokes, I must agree with him. The United States clearly sent $10 million dollars recently to Al Qaeda linked rebels fighting in Syria even though the Obama Administration knew full well of the direct ties to Al Qaeda. I cannot believe Americans allowed Obama to send their hard earned money to terrorists. YIKES!!! In addition back in the early eighties Osama bin Laden had direct ties to the CIA. I am starting to believe others that the terrorist attack in Boston can be linked directly to the Obama Administration. Could the Boston attack be an attempt to further take away our Second Amendment Rights? If you think about it since Obama took office the Second Amendment along with the Fourth Amendment have been under constant attack from those within our government nationwide.

Apr 17, 2013 2:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Lemming wrote:
I smell an Presidential Administration full of treason, lies and propaganda!

True glory takes root, and even spreads; all false pretenses, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Apr 17, 2013 3:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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