Assad: Israeli 'Raid' Risks Regional War

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DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Israel's naval raid on the Turkish flotilla's flagship, Mavi Marmara, raised the risks of regional war.

In a television interview with BBC aired on Thursday, Assad said the death of nine pro-Palestinian activists aboard the ship "destroyed any chance for peace in the near future mainly because it proved that this government is another pyromaniac government and you cannot achieve peace with such [a] government."

"When you don't have peace, you have to expect war every day, and this is very dangerous," he said.

But even before the confrontation at sea, Assad said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not a viable peace partner.

"No, we definitely don't have a partner, we know this," the Syrian president said.

Assad denied allegations by the U.S., Israel and England that he is continuing to arm Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based terror group, with Iranian missiles and other weaponry.

And while he would not abandon Syria's close alliance with Iran, Assad said he is happy to do business with the United States.

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