President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has claimed that unnamed foreign governments are behind a three stage plan to destabilise the country and bring down his government.
Speaking to Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, al-Assad claimed that the first stage had been to pay demonstrators to take part in protests.
Protestors were initially paid $10, rising to $50 as it became clear to those funding the protests that creating another ‘Tahrir Square’ uprising was not going to be easy.
Assad claimed that:
They wanted to take people into streets like it was in Egypt or Tunisia. But they couldn’t do it.