Syrian President Bashar Assad said the bloody assault on anti-government protesters in his country is not his fault.
In an exclusive interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, Assad said he did not order any crackdown on demonstrators and blamed terrorists for escalating violence.
"They're not my forces," Assad said. "They are military forces [who] belong to the government. I don't own them. I'm president. I don't own the country."
As protests against his leadership continue, the United States, Arab League, and other world leaders have called on Assad to step-down.
Yet, he remained defiant and insisted even his supporters and government troops have been victims of the violence.
"Do you feel guilty?" Walters asked.
"I did my best to protect the people. So I cannot feel guilty when you do your best," Assad answered. "You feel sorry for the lives that have been lost. But you don't feel guilty when you don't kill people."
The network will air Assad's entire interview Wednesday night on ABC's "World News" with Diane Sawyer.