Europe will regret arming Syrian rebels, says Assad

London, June 18 (IANS) Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned Europe that it will live to regret arming rebel factions in the Syrian conflict.

The move to arm the rebels would lead to the “export” of terrorism to the continent, The Independent daily quoted the president as telling German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Assad rejected Western claims that his forces had deployed chemical weapons.

“If the Europeans deliver weapons, then Europe’s backyard will become terrorist, and Europe will pay the price for it,” he was quoted as saying.

“If Paris, London and Washington had any evidence for their claims (of chemical weapons usage), they would have submitted it to the global public.”

Assad has also now put up his profile on Twitter. His office is apparently using the social network under the handle, @Presidency_Sy.

Assad currently has more than 800 followers, but is not following anyone himself.

The Syria crisis has claimed nearly 93,000 lives since March 2011. The crisis has also left 6.8 million people in need, and sent more than 1.5 million Syrians fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek refuge.

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