Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied using chemical weapons during an exclusive interview with Charlie Rose on Sunday.
The interview, which will air in full Monday night on PBS's Charlie Rose, featured a calm Assad claiming that he never ordered the alleged chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb that reportedly killed 1,429 people.
"There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people," he said, adding:
We only have video, pictures, and allegations. We were not there. How can you talk about what happened when you don't have evidence? We're not like the American administration. We're not a social media administration. [CBS News]
He also countered claims by Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States has evidence that Assad's forces launched the rockets, insisting that "the Russians have completely opposite evidence."
A recent report from a German newspaper suggests that Assad might not have personally ordered the attack. Syrian brigade and division commanders have wanted to use chemical weapons for months, but were always denied permission.
Assad later warned that the United States and its allies should "expect every action" in retaliation for an attack against Syria. He remained vague, however, about what those actions would be or who would carry them out.
President Obama is trying to convince Congress to vote on a resolution for a limited strike on the Assad regime, and will give a speech Tuesday night making his case to voters.
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