Syrian President Bashar Assad appeared defiant in a much-anticipated interview with PBS host Charlie Rose that aired Monday evening.
Assad argued it was "stupid" to suggest that Syrian forces bombed the suburbs outside of Damascus where the chemical weapons attack occurred in an effort to cover up evidence.
"How could bombardment cover the evidence? The-- technically, it doesn't work. How? This is stupid, to be frank. This is very stupid," Assad said.
The interview, Assad's first with an American journalist in two years, was conducted on Sunday at the Presidential Palace in Damascus. The U.S. is currently considering whether or not to take military action against Syria in response to reports that Assad's regime used chemical weapons on his own people last month, a clear escalation in the country's bloody, years-long civil war.
In a clip previewed by CBS News Monday morning, Assad warned that any U.S. military intervention would be met with retribution.
The U.S. "should expect everything... expect every action," if it strikes Syria, Assad said -- though he qualified his admonition by suggesting that retribution would "not necessarily [be] from the government."
The Syrian president also denied that his forces were in the region where sarin gas was reportedly used on Aug. 21, and even insisted that his own troops were victims.
"Our soldiers in another area were attacked chemically, our soldiers," Assad said. "They went to the hospital, as casualties because of chemical weapons. But in the area where they said the government used chemical weapons, we only had video and we only have pictures and allegations. We're not there."
Secretary of State John Kerry has refuted this claim, arguing these are "words that are contradicted by fact."
Kerry also said the conflict could be resolved if Assad placed his chemical weapons arsenal under international control, a suggestion reinforced by Russia. Syria responded, implying that they would accept this proposal.
"What red line?" Assad said. "Obama drew that line and Obama can draw that line for himself and his country, not for other countries."
Kerry previously told HuffPost that "it’s not President Obama’s red line, it’s a global red line, it is the multilateral community that has drawn this line -- if we don’t enforce that, Assad will say to himself, 'I am free to use all the gas I want.'"
WATCH THE FULL PBS INTERVIEW BELOW:
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