Assad: Syrian refugee crisis used as pretext for military intervention

With Syria's civil war now in its fifth year, nearly 4 million people have fled the country. Many seek safety at refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied claims that people have fled from the Syrian army, and says the refugee camps were built before "any real conflict in Syria."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 60 Minutes

"So it was premeditated ... to be used as a humanitarian headline ... and to be used against Syria to be a pretext for a military intervention," Assad told "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose in a "60 Minutes" interview. "That's how it started. Then later they started giving incentive to people to fled there. Now, the majority of those, they fled because of the terrorism."

Assad continued:

"Most of the refugees in Lebanon, for example, and even in Jordan, they voted for the president, not against the president. That's a concrete indication. You cannot ignore it. So they don't fled from the Syrian army."

Rose said the refugees he interviewed at Jordanian camps fled in fear of the Syrian army, and they were reluctant to give their names or where they were from, fearing repercussions if they were found to be giving interviews.

"That could happen. Of course, you have different kind of people. You have different perceptions. You have that perception. Now, we don't say that everybody fled just because of the terrorists. Some people, they fled just because of the situation. Not from the Syrian army, nor from the terrorists. They want to go to safer place. So they have different reasons for the refugees," Assad said.