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Keep off or risk quake, says Assad

Damascus, Oct. 30: Syria???s President, Bashar al-Assad, has warned that Western action against his country would cause an ???earthquake??? that would ???burn the whole region???.

In his first interview with a Western journalist since Syria???s seven-month uprising began, President Assad told The Sunday Telegraph intervention against his regime could cause ???another Afghanistan???.

Western countries ???are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely,??? he said. ???But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different.

???Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake???. Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?

???Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.???

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in two Syrian cities on Friday to demand the imposition of a Libyan-style no-fly zone over the country. According to the United Nations, at least 3,000 civilians, including 187 children, have been killed in protests against the regime. Thousands more have been imprisoned. The government says 1,200 members of the security forces died.



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