WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – In a Sunday interview with Charlie Rose, Syrian President Bashar Assad stated that he had nothing to do with an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack, and that the U.S. has “no evidence” to justify a military attack.
According to Rose, Assad, “denied he had anything to do with the attack. He denied that he knew, in fact, that there was a chemical attack.”
As President Obama makes his case to Congress, pressing for military action against the Syrian leader, Assad challenged the administration to produce any justification that he was responsible.
Assad continued, “There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people. And that there is no evidence…if the administration has evidence, then they should show that evidence and make that case.”
An anonymous U.S. official released a graphic DVD compilation of chemical weapons victims and the images were shown before Congress this past week as the Obama administration presses Congress for a “limited strike” to prevent future chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
Assad said that he “cannot confirm or deny” reports – including one from a Sunday New York Times article – that state the Syrian regime has chemical weapons.
However, Assad went on to say that if he did have chemical weapons, they were under centralized control and no one else has access to them. As he has suggested in the past, Assad said that “perhaps the rebels have something to do with it.” reports Rose.
When asked whether or not he thought a military strike was imminent, Assad said he did not know but that they had prepared as best as they can.
“He did not know whether or not there was going to be a strike, but that they were prepared, and people aligned with him would have some kind of retaliation but he did not respond to the nature of the kind of response,” said Rose.
Assad also appealed to the American people, saying that they should communicate to Congress and other U.S. leaders to not get involved in another Middle East conflict.