Assad accuses US of fueling Syrian uprising

Associated Press
This citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Friday, July 6, 2012, purports to show Syrian children chanting slogans during a demonstration in Idlib, north Syria. Syria's military began large-scale exercises simulating defense against outside "aggression," the state-run news agency said Sunday an apparent warning to other countries not to intervene in the country's crisis. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS HANDOUT PHOTO

BERLIN (AP) — Syria's president has accused the United States in a television interview of fueling a violent uprising against his government.

German public broadcaster ARD quoted Bashar Assad as saying that America is partnering with those "terrorists ... with weapons, money or public and political support at the United Nations."

Assad was further quoted as saying that he won't step down "in the face of national challenges."

ARD released Assad's comments translated into German on Sunday ahead of the full interview's broadcasting. It said the interview — only the third Assad has given to a western news organization since Syria's uprising broke out in March 2011 — was conducted Thursday in Damascus and recorded by Syria's state television.

Syria's opposition says the uprising has left more than 14,000 dead since last year.