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Assad on Syria crisis

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A new interview with President Bashar al-Assad is due to be aired on pro-regime television station Al-Ikhbariya later on Wednesday. Below are some of Assad's main comments on the Syrian conflict:

--2011--

- March 30: Assad, in a rare address to parliament, blames "enemies" and conspirators for the deadly unrest rocking Syria.

- June 20: He says talks could lead to a new constitution and even end the Baath party's monopoly on power, but refuses to reform Syria in an atmosphere of "chaos".

- August 21: He scoffs at Western calls to quit in an interview with state television , saying: "While withholding comment, we tell them that their words are worthless."

- October 30: He warns that any Western intervention in Syria would cause an "earthquake" across the Middle East and tells Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper: Syria "is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake -- do you want to see another Afghanistan, or dozens of Afghanistans?"

- December 7: "We don't kill our people, " Assad says during an interview with the US television network ABC. "No government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person."

--2012--

- January 10: In a televised speech lasting two hours, Assad pledges to tackle terrorism with "an iron fist."

- June 26: He tells the new cabinet his country is in "a real state of war."

- July 8: He accuses the United States of assisting "gangs" to destabilise his country, in an interview with German television channel ARD.

- August 7: "The Syrian people and their government are determined to purge the country of terrorists and to fight the terrorists without respite," he tells an envoy from Iran, his country's main regional ally.

- August 29: Assad says in an interview with pro-regime Addounia channel his forces need more time to win the war.

- September 20: In an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, he hits out at Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, accusing them of arming Syrian rebels. "They suddenly saw money in their hands after a long period of poverty and think they can buy history and play a regional role," he says.

- November 9: "I am Syrian, I was made in Syria, I have to live in Syria and die in Syria". He also warns in an interview with Russian television that foreign intervention in his country would have global consequences.

--2013--

- January 6: In his first public speech in seven months, Assad proposes a roadmap to end Syria's civil war under which he would remain in power. The opposition rejects the plan.

- April 6: He warns in interviews with two Turkish media outlets that the fall of his regime would produce a "domino effect" that would destabilise the region "for many years."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130417/assad-syria-crisis