Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday demanded the world produce evidence his forces used chemical weapons, calling the region a “powder keg” and warning an attack against him would ignite a regional war.
“Nobody knows what will happen” if the US or other countries attack Syria,” Assad said in an interview to the French paper Le Figaro. “Everyone will lose control of the situation when the powder keg explodes. Chaos and extremism will spread… There is a risk of regional war.”
“Anyone who accuses [the use of gas] must provide evidence,” the president said, adding he had asked the US and France to prove their claims, but Presidents “[Barack] Obama and [Francois] Hollande were unable to.”
Though Assad avoided confirming his army was in possession of chemical weapons, which the West claim were used to kill some 1,400 people two weeks ago, the president said it would “illogical” for the Syrian army to use such munitions close to its own troops.