PARIS - Syrian President Bashar Assad says military strikes against his country would risk triggering a regional war.
The Syrian leader says the Middle East is a "powder keg" and no one can say what will transpire if the West takes military action against Syria.
He warns, however, that "the whole world will lose control of the situation. Chaos and extremism will spread. The risk of a regional war exists."
He also says Syria has challenged the U.S. and France to provide proof to support their allegations that Damascus has used chemical weapons.
He says leaders of both countries "have been incapable of doing that, including before their own peoples."
Assad made the comments in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. Excerpts were published Monday on the paper's website.