MOSCOW: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Western claims his regime used chemical weapons were an "insult to common sense" and warned the United States it faced failure if it attacked Syria, in an interview with a Russian newspaper published Monday.
Assad told pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia in the extensive interview that Syria would never be a "puppet" of the West and said Washington had never succeeded in reaching its political aims through war.
"The comments (accusing the regime of using chemical weapons) made by politicians in the West and other countries are an insult to common sense... It is nonsense," Assad said.
Assad accused the United States of first making the accusations that his regime used chemical weapons in an attack outside Damascus that activists say killed hundreds, and only later starting to look for proof.
He said the frontline in the area where the incident took place was not clear and the Syrian regime would have risked killing its own army forces if it used chemical weapons.
"This contradicts elementary logic," Assad said.
"Such accusations are completely political and the reason for them is a number of victories by the government forces against the terrorists," he added.
With calls mounting for military action against Syria, Assad warned Western states to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries and instead "listen to the opinion of the people".
"If someone is dreaming of making Syria a puppet of the West, then this will not happen.
"We are an independent state, we will fight against terrorism and we will build relations with whom we want for the good of the Syrian people."
He warned the United States against attacking Syria and argued Washington's previous military campaigns in recent years had always fallen short of their aims.
"The United States faces failure just like in all the previous wars they waged, starting with Vietnam and up to our days," he said.
"America has taken part in many wars but could not once achieve its political goals for which the wars were started. Yes, it is true, the great powers can wage wars but can they win them?" he asked.