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Assad accuses West of backing Al Qaeda in Syria

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 - 01:15

April 18 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accuses the West of supporting al Qaeda militants in Syria's civil war. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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From Damascus, a Syrian family watches on as President Bashar al-Assad gives a defiant televised interview. In the Wednesday interview, Assad accused the West of supporting al Qaeda militants in Syria's civil war. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SAYING: "As they supported al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the early stages and later paid a dear price for it; they are now 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 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 has sought to bolster rival rebel forces. The conflict in Syria, now in its third year, started with mainly peaceful demonstrations but has descended into a bloody civil war. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SAYING: "We have no choice but victory. If we do not win, Syria will be finished and I don't think this is a choice that is acceptable to any citizen in Syria." The United Nations says at least 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Assad accuses West of backing Al Qaeda in Syria

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 - 01:15

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