Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Hamad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, Aug. 19, 2012. / AP/SANA
Beirut Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad says he will not leave his country.
In an interview with Russia TV, Assad said he will "live and die" in Syria.
Speaking hypothetically about Western military action to help Syrian rebels oust him, Assad told the Russia Today network, "the price of this invasion, if it happens, is going to be more than the whole world can afford."
He went on to describe Syria as, "the last stronghold of secularism and stability in the region."
His comments come two days after British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that Assad could be allowed safe passage out of the country if that would guarantee an end to the nation's civil war.
Assad spoke in English with Russia Today TV. Excerpts of the interview were posted on the TV station's website on Thursday, with an Arabic voiceover.
Assad says he is not a puppet of the West.
He says: "I am Syrian, made in Syria, and I will live and die in Syria."