Syria's Assad says intervention will burn region

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has warned that a western intervention in Syria will lead to an "earthquake" that "would burn the whole region."

In an interview with Britain's Sunday Telegraph, Assad said that such an intervention against his regime will cause "another Afghanistan."

Assad's rare interview comes after an intensification of the seven-month uprising against his regime following the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The unrest in Syria could send unsettling ripples through the region, as Damascus' web of alliances extends to Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah movement, the militant Palestinian Hamas and Iran's Shiite theocracy.

Syria "is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake," Assad said.