Assad accuses West of backing al-Qaeda in Syria
Interview with embattled ruler to be aired Wednesday on state-run channel
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the West of backing al-Qaeda in Syria and says it will pay the price.
Assad spoke in an interview to be aired later Wednesday on the government-run Al-Ikhbariya channel. Excerpts of the interview have been aired in advance and posted on his office's official Facebook page.
Assad says the West financed al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in its beginnings and later paid a high price for it. Similarly, he says it is now supporting the terror network in Syria and "will pay the price later in the heart of Europe and the United States."
Extremist groups such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra are gaining ground in Syria's civil war. Assad's regime says the uprising against him is a conspiracy carried out by foreign-backed extremists.