Assad to Charlie Rose: 'No Evidence' I Gassed My People
Syrian strongman hints he'll retaliate if US strikes
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2013 10:40 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Bashar al-Assad "denied that he had anything to do" with the chemical attack that killed nearly 1,500 of his countrymen, he tells Charlie Rose in an interview that airs tomorrow on PBS. "He basically said, 'There has been no evidence that I used weapons against my people,"' said Rose. The journalist, who spoke with CBS' Face the Nation from Beirut this morning in a preview, said that Assad wouldn't say whether he had access to weapons of mass destruction, but that he does feel remorse for those who lost their lives. "He said, 'Of course I do,' but it did not come in a way that was sort of deeply felt inside. It was much more of a calm recitation of anybody who's a leader of a country would feel terrible about what's happened to its citizens."

Assad warned the US against getting involved militarily, said Rose. He "suggested that there would be some kind of retaliation if a strike was made," though he "would not even talk about the nature of the response." Further, "He had a message to the American people that it had not been a good experience for them to get involved in the Middle East in wars and conflicts... that the results had not been good." It's not the first time Assad has sat down with an American journalist: In 2011, he told Barbara Walters that he hadn't ordered the crackdown on his people.

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Showing 3 of 87 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Sep 9, 2013 10:24 PM CDT
He didn't gas his people, Russia did it by proxy.
Who_Cares
Sep 9, 2013 8:54 AM CDT
The transcripts senator Kerry refers to, show that Assad was very surprised about the gas attack. His team doesn't want to make them public.
tvsgael2
Sep 9, 2013 8:42 AM CDT
SHAME ON CBS for running 'forced to watch' commercials prior to the small snippits of the Charlie Rose interview with Assad. This is serious stuff, and they are unwittingly telling us that the interview from the no commercial PBS Charlie Rose Show is the only appropriate way to watch it, rather than their bastardizations.. This blatant corporate greed shown by CBS only exemplifies their lack of moral scruples, sensitivity, compassion, or empathy in honoring the no commercial spirit of what that show represents. They are in essence, disgracing themselves and our sensibilities by hawking hardware, i.e., "here is the interview", but first a commercial for a product from this drug company *(do you have erectile disfunction?), and this foreign auto company ....". In protest, I refused to be subjected to it and will watch the show instead, hitting the delete button on my computer. You all should do the same. Actually, regarding erectile disfunction, they proved that it isn't a problem with them, when they are in bed with these companies on a regular basis. What's next, CBS, commercials for Viagra prior to videos of the gassed victims?