Syrian President Bashar Assad said during an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters that he is not responsible for acts of violence committed by his security forces since an uprising against the Alawite president began in Syria in March of this year, Dubai-based Arabic-language news channel Al Arabiya reported Wednesday.
According to a press statement released by ABC concerning the interview - which will be aired Wednesday evening - Assad said "I am the president...I am not the owner of the nation, so these are not my troops," according to Al Arabiya. "There is a difference between a deliberate policy of repression, and the presence of some errors committed by some officials. There is a great difference," Assad reportedly said.
The situation in Syria has grow increasingly chaotic in the last few months, with a death toll above 4,000 people according to the United Nations.
UN officials have said Syria is close to "civil war," and there are fears that sectarian differences among Syria's ethnically diverse population could push the country into a conflict similar to that in neighboring Iraq.