Abdullah believes Assad will "stick to his guns"

(CBS News) The rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria is directly affecting all of its neighbors, including the kingdom of Jordan.

The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, who has ruled Jordan since the death of his father King Hussein in 1999, told "CBS This Morning" that Syria's president Bashar Assad will continue to "stick to his guns" indefinitely.

Jordan's King Abdullah on Syria

"He believes that he is in the right," Abdullah told Charlie Rose in Amman on Sunday. "I think the regime feels that it has no alternative, but to continue. ... I don't think it's just Bashar. It's not the individual. It's the system of the regime. So if Bashar was to exit under whatever circumstances, does whoever replace him, have the ability to reach out and transform Syria politically? So for Bashar, at the moment, if I if I'm reading the way he's thinking, is he's going do what he's going to do indefinitely."

Though he thinks there's still hope, Abdullah said, "I'm worried about the longer we take to find a political solution and the more the chaos continues then we may be pushing Syria into the abyss. So my point of view is let's move as quickly as possible. I mean, conference after conference is great. International forums where we get the Russians and Chinese involvement is fine. But we can't afford time. ... There's a reality on the ground that's catching us up, if it hasn't already."

Abdullah defined "the abyss" as "complete and utter civil war, which will take us, I think, years to come back from."

Assad, like deceased Libyan dictator Qaddafi, has reportedly used aircraft against his own people. Asked if Assad would cross the line into using chemical weapons, Abdullah said, "I hope to God that he wouldn't because I think that would be a tripwire for many nations in the international community. ... The chemical weapons (are) something that scares everybody. What scares most of us is the chemical weapons falling into rebel hands. And who are those rebels? And obviously the use of chemical weapons against innocent people.

"... There's so many levels of attention against Syria. So as we're working on the political level, trying to find a solution, if he uses chemical weapons, is that the tripwire that all of a sudden...the international community has to react? So I hope he understands that this would be a major miscalculation. More complicated than that, what happens if some of those storage depots fall into rebel hands?"

Abdullah said he thinks the weapon sites need to be secured by the international community. Asked if that might be a reason for intervention by outside forces, Abdullah said, "I hope that you're not looking at it as a reason for intervention. I think it's a crisis where we have to react. And the problem - I am weary of people looking at it as a reason - in other words, I hope people are not planning to sort of push whoever there may be to make sure that those storage sites fall into... the minute you cross the borders then no plan goes the way you planned it. So the minute you cross the border with armed forces or the military, then it's anybody's guess what the outcome is."

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