Syria 'will not bow down' to foreign forces: Assad
President Bashar al-Assad said Syria would not bow down in the face of international military action over his lethal crackdown on dissent, in an interview with The Sunday Times.
Assad told the British weekly newspaper he was "definitely" prepared to fight and die for Syria if faced with foreign intervention.
The president said he felt sorrow for each drop of Syrian blood spilt but insisted Damascus must go after armed rebel gangs and enforce law and order.
"The conflict will continue and the pressure to subjugate Syria will continue," he said. "Syria will not bow down."
Assad accused the Arab League, whose deadline for Syria to stop its clampdown has expired, of creating a pretext for Western military intervention, which would trigger an "earthquake" across the Middle East.
"If they are logical, rational and realistic, they shouldn't do it because the repercussions are very dire. Military intervention will destabilise the region as a whole, and all countries will be affected," he said.
© 2011 AFP