A combination of two file pictures shows Barack Obama (L) and Bashar al-Assad
A combination of two file pictures made on August 31, 2013 shows US President Barack Obama (L) speaking to journalists on April 30, 2013 in Washington and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking to journalists on December 9, 2010 in Paris. © Franck Fife - AFP/File
A combination of two file pictures shows Barack Obama (L) and Bashar al-Assad
AFP
Last updated: September 19, 2013

Assad: We didn't bow to US threats

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insisted Wednesday that his decision to destroy his stockpiles of chemical weapons was not forced upon him by the threat of US strikes.

"Yeah, there's a misunderstanding that we agreed with this agreement because of the Americans," he told US network Fox News.

"Actually, if you go back before the G20, before the proposal, the Russians, it wasn't about handing over the chemical arsenal," he said, referring to a Russian offer to oversee his disarmament.

"It was about attacking Syria in order not to use the arsenal again," he said, in reference to US President Barack Obama's call for a punitive strike against his regime.

"So it's not about the threat. Syria never obey any threat. We actually responded to the Russian initiative and to our needs and to our conviction," he insisted.

"So whether they have Chapter 7 or don't have Chapter 7, this is politics between the great countries," he said, referring to a UN rule that would have to be invoked to justify international action.

Syria's ally Russia has opposed any UN Security Council resolution that would permit a Chapter 7 enforcement action in order to compel Damascus to hand over its chemical arms.

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