Nation & World News

Assad: Syria Is Committed To ‘Full Requirements’ Of Agreement

By Eyder Peralta on September 19th, 2013

“We are committed to the full requirements of this agreement.”

That’s what Syrian President Bashar Assad told Fox News in an hourlong interview about his government’s decision to join an international chemical weapons convention that requires the country to declare its chemical weapons stockpile and then destroy it.

Assad said that it will take a lot of money (about $1 billion) and could take about a year to complete the process, but that he was committed to destroying his arsenal.

“Whenever we join [an] agreement, as Syria, we are always committed to those agreements,” Assad said.

Syria decided to join the convention after the United States and Russia agreed on a proposal that tabled a potential military strike by the U.S. against Syria, if the country promised to quickly get rid of its chemical stockpile.

Assad was also pressed on a United Nations report that found that sarin gas was used in an Aug. 21 attack that the U.S. says killed more than 1,000 people in the suburbs of Damascus.

Assad said it was “self-evident” that what happened in Syria is a war crime, but that it wasn’t his regime that used the chemical weapons.

“Anyone can make sarin in his house,” Assad said.

Fox News’ Greg Palkot told Assad that experts on chemical weapons say it’s almost certain it was the Assad regime that used the chemical weapons. It’s evident, Palkot said, if you look at where the rockets came from and evident because high-quality sarin was used and evident because it was delivered using rockets that experts believe only the regime has access to.

“All that you mention is not realistic and not true,” Assad responded.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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