Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed Turkey for violence in a 17-month-old uprising in the country, in which thousands have died.
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“Turkey bears direct responsibility for the blood being shed in Syria,” Assad told the pro-regime local television channel Ad-Dounia in an interview aired Wednesday.
Assad said the talk of a Western-imposed buffer zone on Syrian territory was unrealistic and that the situation in his country, where rebels have been fighting to overthrow him, was “better.”
“Talk of buffer zones firstly is not on the table and secondly it is an unrealistic idea by hostile countries and the enemies of Syria,” he said.
The embattled president, responding to rumors of his whereabouts since a July bombing in Damascus, said he was speaking from the presidential palace in the capital.
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