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Assad denies role in crackdown

[ 2011-12-09 15:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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Syria's president denied he ordered the deadly crackdown on a nearly 9-month-old uprising in his country, claiming he is not in charge of the troops behind the assault.

Speaking to ABC's Barbara Walters in a rare interview that aired on Wednesday, President Bashar al-Assad maintained he did not give any commands "to kill or be brutal".

"They're not my forces," Assad responded when asked if Syrian troops had cracked down too hard on protesters. "They are military forces (who) belong to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country."

He said some Syrian troops may have behaved badly, but they faced punishment.

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

The UN estimates more than 4,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March, many of them civilians and unarmed protesters demanding Assad's ouster. "Who said the United Nations is a credible institution?" Assad said, when Walters asked him about allegations of widespread violence and torture.

"We don't kill our people," said Assad, a 46-year-old, British-trained eye doctor. "No government in the world (kills) its people unless it is led by a crazy person."


1. How long has the uprising been taking place?

2. What is the name of the Syrian president?

3. How many people have been killed, according to UN estimates?


1. 9-months

2. Bashar al-Assad

3. 4,000

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Assad denies role in crackdown

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Assad denies role in crackdown

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.