“We now possess deterrent weapons that are more important and more sophisticated than chemical weapons,” Syrian President Bashar Assad told visitors to his palace in Damascus on Thursday.

He emphasized that he had no need for chemical weapons.

According to the report, which was carried by Hezbollah’s paper Al-Akhbar, Assad said this was because the situation in Syria “has never been better,” as “we created chemical weapons in the ’80s as a deterrent against Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Today, it is no longer a weapon of deterrence.

We have weapons that are more important and more sophisticated to challenge Israel, which we can blind in an instant.”

“In Syria there are thousands of tons of chemical weapons that have become a burden to us since their destruction costs a great deal of money and could take years to destroy.

They also create environmental challenges and others that would need solving. So they [UN inspectors] should just come and take them,” Assad said.

“[Getting rid of] the chemical weapons is not the goal of the United States and their allies, and they never have been,” he said. “They wanted to change the balance of power and to protect Israel.

“We turned the tables and sent to the ball into their court. This move embarrassed them in front of the American public, in Europe and even in front of the US government,” he said.

Assad praised the “unprecedented collaboration with Russia,” and added that “we have an agreement with Russia that they will intervene, in a big way, if Syria is attacked.”

Earlier, during an interview that was broadcast on Venezuelan television, Assad said he would not rule out the possibility of an American attack despite the fact that he had agreed to the supervision of his chemical weapons

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