US should expect everything if attacks Syria: Pres. Assad
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned of massive retaliation if the United States launches a military strike against his country. Assad told CBS Television on Monday that Washington should "expect everything" if US forces attack his country. "You're going to pay the price if you're not wise. There are going to be repercussions," Assad said, adding, "It's an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. You have to expect everything." Assad also stated that in the case of a US attack, the Syrian government will not be the sole party to respond. "You should expect everything.... The government's not the only player in this region. You have different parties, different factions, different ideologies. You have everything in this decision now," Assad added. The Syrian president also said any strike on Syria will provide direct support for al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups operating in the country. He denied allegations that the Syrian government was responsible for a deadly chemical attack near Damascus on August 21, over which Washington is calling for military action against Damascus. "There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people," Assad added. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has claimed that not responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria would be riskier than taking military action. "I don't believe that we should shy from this moment: the risk of not acting is greater than the risk of acting," Kerry said in London, adding that Assad could avert an attack by giving up his chemical weapons. The US Senate will vote on authorizing military intervention in Syria later this week. The White House has admitted it has no "irrefutable" evidence of Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, but said a "strong common-sense test irrespective of the intelligence" suggested the Syrian army was responsible for the August poison gas attack.