Scorpion of terrorism will sting Turkey soon, Assad says

TEHRAN, Oct. 5 (MNA) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told Turkey it will pay a heavy price for backing rebels fighting to oust him, accusing it of harboring “terrorists” along its border who would soon turn against their hosts.

In an interview with Turkey's Halk TV, Assad called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan “bigoted” and said Ankara was allowing terrorists to cross into Syria to attack the army and Syrian civilians.

“It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card because it is like a scorpion which won't hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity,” Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV, which is close to Turkey's opposition.
“In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it.”

The Syrian president also accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of lying about the situation in the Syria. “All that he says about Syria and its people is a heap of lies, that is all... Erdogan is doing nothing but supporting the terrorists.” 

Assad accused Erdogan, whose AK Party has its roots in conservative Islamist politics, of a sectarian agenda.

“Before the crisis, Erdogan had never mentioned reforms or democracy, he was never interested in these issues... Erdogan only wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to return to Syria, that was his main and core aim,” he said.

Assad said he had not yet decided whether to run in presidential elections next year because the situation on the ground was changing rapidly, adding that he would only put himself forward if Syrians wanted him to. The picture will become clearer in the next 4-5 months, Assad said.

In his interview, Assad again denied his forces had used chemical weapons and blamed such attacks on the rebels. Asked whether he expected the Geneva process to accelerate if Syria handed over its chemical weapons, Assad said he saw no link.

“Practically these issues are not related. Geneva II is about Syria's own domestic political process and cutting neighboring countries' weapons and financial support to terrorists,” he said.

Turkey, which shares a 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria and has NATO's second largest deployable armed forces, is one of Assad's fiercest critics and a staunch supporter of the opposition.

It has also allowed rebel fighters to cross in and out of Syria but has grown alarmed, along with Western allies opposed to Assad, by divisions among their ranks and the deepening influence of radical Islamists in Syria.

Last month, the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized Azaz, about 5 km (3 miles) from the border with Turkey, and has repeatedly clashed with the local Northern Storm brigade since then.
 
MNA
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News Code 56746

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