News / Middle East

Assad: West Will Pay for 'Supporting' al-Qaida Rebels

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) attends an interview with Syrian television channel al-Ikhbariya in Damascus, in this handout photograph from Syria's national news agency SANA, April 17, 2013.
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) attends an interview with Syrian television channel al-Ikhbariya in Damascus, in this handout photograph from Syria's national news agency SANA, April 17, 2013.
VOA News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned the West that it will pay a "heavy price" for what he called its support of al-Qaida militants fighting against his autocratic government.

In a rare interview with state-run Al-Ikhbariya television, Mr. Assad said the consequences of alleged Western support for al-Qaida will be felt in the "heart of Europe and the United States."

Washington has refused to provide weapons to Syrian rebel groups, fearing that some of the arms could end up in the hands of al-Qaida.

Assad also repeated his refusal to surrender to the rebels, whom he calls terrorists backed by foreign enemies.  He said that if his government does not win the civil war, Syria will be "finished."

The White House responded to the latest Assad remarks by saying he is willing to kill tens of thousands of his own people, and that his regime has mercilessly targeted hospitals, universities and bread lines to repress the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

The United States has sent non-lethal aid to the secular pro-Western rebels, but designated Syria's main Islamist faction, the Nusra Front, as a terrorist organization.  The Nusra Front swore allegiance to al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri last week, confirming its al-Qaida links.

Assad also warned that the "fire" of the Syrian civil war could spread to neighboring Jordan. Syrian officials have long accused Jordan of training, arming and sending rebels into Syria.  Amman has been hosting thousands of Syrian refugees from the conflict but has not confirmed sending any fighters across the border.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid