- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2013

Syrian President Bashar Assad warned the United States on Monday: Don’t even think of jumping into the fray.

“Failure awaits the United States as in all previous wars it has unleashed, starting with Vietnam and up to the present day,” the beleaguered leader said in an interview published in a Russian newspaper on Monday.

His comments came as pressure on the United States to act ratcheted, as Syria’s military was blamed for unleashing a chemical attack on a rebel stronghold outside Damascus that left hundreds — mostly civilians — dead or ailing.

But Mr. Assad said to the Russian news outlet that the accusations against his soldiers were “politically motivated,” Reuters reported.

“This is nonsense,” he said, Reuters reported. “First, they level the accusations and only then, they start collecting evidence.”

He said the rebel position was too close to his military’s front line — so why would he use chemical weapons?

“How can the government use chemical weapons, or any other weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its troops are situated? This is not logical,” he said. “That’s why these accusations are politically motivated, and a recent string of victories of the government forces is the reason for it.”

Russia has staunchly stood by Mr. Assad during the two-plus years of conflict in the country.

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