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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defiant Assad Refuses to Leave - Russian Arab TV

RIA Novosti

19:09 08/11/2012 MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not leave his country and seek refuge elsewhere, the embattled leader told Russian Arab-language channel Russia al-Yaum on Thursday.

"I am not a puppet," he said in an interview, parts of which were shown on the channel.

"I am a Syrian, I live and die in Syria."

The complete interview will be shown on Friday.

Assad also warned any external aggression against Syria will have a "domino effect," and affect the whole world "from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean" and have unforetold consequences.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday told Al Arabiya TV that safe passage could be organized for Assad if he steps down and leaves the country.

"Of course, I would favor him facing the full force of international law and justice for what he's done," Cameron said. "I am certainly not offering [Assad] an exit plan to Britain, but if he wants to leave, he could leave, this could be arranged," he added.

Syria has been wracked by an increasingly violent civil war in the last 18 months, which, according to UN estimates, has killed between 20,000-30,000 people. The Syrian government claims it is fighting to suppress a well-armed insurrection backed by foreign forces including extremist Islamic groups.

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