Assad to World: Stay Out, We're Crushing Resistance
In rare TV appearance, Syrian President says regime is stable
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 21, 2011 4:40 PM CDT
In this televised interview on August 21, 2011, President Bashar Assad says his security forces are making gains against a 5-month-old uprising and his government is in no danger of falling.   (AP Photo/ Syrian state tv via APTN)

(Newser) – Syrian President Bashar Assad said today his regime is in no danger of collapse and warned against any foreign military intervention in his country as the regime tries to crush a 5-month-old popular uprising. In his fourth public appearance since the revolt against his family's 40-year rule erupted in mid-March, Assad insisted that security forces were making inroads against the uprising.

"It may seem dangerous ... but in fact we are able to deal with it," he told state-run TV in the 40-minute interview. It was the first time he agreed to take any questions from the network. The Syrian leader has come under mounting criticism over the brutal military offensive that has used tanks, snipers, and gunboats to try to crush the uprising. In the interview, Assad also said he expected a parliamentary election to be held in February 2012, along with a series of reforms that would allow political groups other than his Baath party to participate.