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Syria’s Assad tells US television that he was not behind chemical attack

The interview is the first given by Assad in two years.

Image: http://images.pressassociation.com/meta/2.12208985.html

Updated 19.45

VETERAN BROADCASTER CHARLIE Rose interviewed Bashar Assad today and the Syrian president denied that he was behind a chemical attack that allegedly killed more than 1,400 civilians on 21 August.

The full interview will air tomorrow evening in the US.

The CBS correspondent said the embattled leader “denied that he had anything to do with the attack”.

The Face the Nation programme tweeted some details of the interview today, noting that Assad refused to confirm or deny that the regime possesses chemical weapons.

“He does accept some of the responsibility” for the attack that killed civilians, Rose said.

“I asked that very question: ‘Do you feel any remorse?’ 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 also hinted that there would be some form of retaliation if the US leads a strike against Damascus.

“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,” Rose said after the interview.

Excerpts of the interview will air for the first time Monday on “CBS This Morning.” The interview will air in its entirety Monday night on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS.

First published 16.13

Read: US senators release graphic videos of Syrian chemical weapons victims

More: EU ministers believe Assad was responsible for Syria chemical attack

Explainer: What is going on in Syria?

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