Assad vows to 'live and die' in Syria

“I am Syrian, I was made in Syria, I have to live in Syria and die in Syria,” he said, according to excerpts of the interview posted Thursday.

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Assad said he did not believe the West was moving toward an intervention, and threatened such a move would have grave consequences.

“I think the price of this invasion, if it happened, is going to be more than the whole world can afford,” Assad said. “I do not think the West is going in that direction, but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next.”

The United States and others in the West have called for Assad to step down for months, but he has ignored those calls as the conflict has grown more violent.

Britain and Turkey stepped up their calls for more action on Wednesday after President Obama was reelected.

Turkish officials suggested Wednesday putting Patriot missile interceptors on its southern border with Syria. And British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the prospect of letting Assad leave Syria safely in order to end the conflict, according to reports.

Syrian opposition officials are meeting with Western officials in Doha, Qatar, this week in an effort to revamp the opposition, although a U.S. proposal has been met with skepticism.