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Assad Warns Europe Will 'Pay the Price' for Arming Rebels

  • VOA News

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with a German newspaper in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA, Jun. 17, 2013.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with a German newspaper in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA, Jun. 17, 2013.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is warning Europe it will "pay the price" if it arms the rebels fighting to drive him from power.

Assad told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that giving the rebels weapons would "export" terrorists to Europe. He said fighters in Syria would gain combat experience and return to Europe with extremist ideologies.

The Syrian president also denied U.S. accusations that he has used chemical weapons on rebel fighters with deadly results. He called it illogical.

The United States said last week it plans to arm Syrian rebels after uncovering evidence of chemical weapons.

Also Monday, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder told Reuters that neither the alliance nor the United States is considering a no-fly zone over Syria at this time.

The White House has not ruled it out completely, but Russia warns it would not permit enforced restrictions of Syrian airspace.

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