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Assad says Syrian rebels may attack chemical arms inspectors (VIDEO)

'There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government,' Assad said.

Bashar al assad headshotEnlarge
President Obama's description of Bashar al-Assad as a "reformer" in the early stages of their diplomatic relationship has come under fire from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans. (Salah Malkawi/AFP/Getty Images)

President Bashar al-Assad said foreign governments might tell the Syrian rebels to attack international chemical weapons inspectors inside his war-torn country and then blame his regime for the incident.

"There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government," Assad said Sunday in an interview on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

"At this point, this remains just a possibility and we cannot know until the inspectors arrive in Syria," he added.

Last week the regime submitted information on its chemical arsenal and stockpile to the United Nations arms watchdog. It was the first step in a complicated and ambitious plan backed by the United States and Russia — Assad's strongest alley — to bring Assad's chemical arms under international control.

As part of the plan, chemical weapons inspectors are supposed to enter Syria and oversee the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. But the question remains what will happen if Damascus decides not to fulfill the agreement.

On that subject, Assad said he was "not concerned" about a possible UN Security Council resolution under Chapter seven, which would allow sanctions or military action to follow Syria's withdrawal from the agreement.

"The US, France and Britain are just trying to make themselves winners in a war against a Syria which is their imaginary enemy," Assad said, adding that the two other permanent members — China and Russia — "are playing a positive role in the Security Council to ensure any excuse for military action against Syria will not stand." 

Syrian rebels have said they believe Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group that supports Assad, has received chemical arms from Damascus.

Responding to those rumors on Monday, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah denied his group had received any such weapons.

"This accusation is truly laughable," Nasrallah said in a speech, adding that the accusations had "dangerous consequences for Lebanon." 

It's believed Assad holds about 1,000 tons of VX, mustard and sarin gas. 

"Syria has been producing these weapons for decades, and it is quite natural that there are large quantities of them," Assad said.

"We are in a state of war, and we have territories that have been occupied for over 40 years," he added. "But at any event, the Syrian army was geared toward fighting with conventional weapons." 

Watch part of the interview here:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130923/assad-claims-rebels-may-attack-chemical-arms-inspectors