Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made an ominous threat against foreign intervention, saying it would have a "domino impact" on the world.
"I think that the cost of foreign invasion of Syria, if it happened, would be greater than one that the whole world can afford," he told Russia Today television. "Because if there were problems in Syria, particularly as we are the last bastion of secularism, stability and coexistence in the region, it will have a domino impact that will affect the world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
"And you know its implications on the rest of the world. I do not think that the West is moving in this direction, but if they do, no one can predict what will happen after."
The embattled president also told Russia Today that he is not a "puppet" of the West and intends to stay put.
"I'm not a puppet, and I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other country. I am Syrian, I was made in Syria and to live and die in Syria," he said.