Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Syrian president Bashar al Assad has denied ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters, saying only a "crazy person" would do so - 7th Dec 2011

Speaking in Damascus, Mr Assad told ABC News' Barbara Walters that he did his "best to protect the people" and that he gave "no command to kill or to be brutal".

"There is a difference between having a policy to crack down and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference," he said.

"They're not my forces. They are military forces (who) belong to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country."

In his role as president, Mr Assad is the commander of Syria's armed forces.

The president also dismissed a recent UN report which estimated that more than 4,000 people have died since uprisings began.

"Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution?" he said.

"Most of the people that have been killed are supporters of the government, not the vice versa." Read More