ANKARA - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview published on Thursday that he would have been toppled long ago like the shah of Iran if his people did not support him.
"Everybody was calculating that I would fall in a small amount of time. They all miscalculated," Assad told the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, which has published excerpts from its interview with the Syrian leader over the past three days.
He said Syria, where an initially peaceful revolt against 42 years of Assad family rule began in March 2011, was under attack from Islamist militants sent by malevolent Arab countries, and was threatened by Western enmity and Turkish hostility.
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