Assad: U.S. to Blame for Civilian Deaths in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad blamed the U.S. on Monday in part for the deaths of thousands of civilians during a conflict that has rattled the nation for over a year.

In an English-language interview with German public broadcaster ARD, Assad said the U.S. is providing military, financial and political support to rebel fighters in Syria, saying the U.S. is very much part of the conflict.

"They offer the umbrella and the political support to those gangs to "¦ destabilize Syria," he said. "As long as you offer any kind of support to terrorists, you are a partner. Whether it's sending them armaments or money or public support and political support at the United Nations "¦ this is implication."

Officials, however, have said the U.S. is not directly assisting anti-Assad forces.

On Monday, Kofi Annan, the UN's envoy to Syria, said he reached an agreement with Assad to rebound the peace process that failed last month, the Associated Press reports. The leaders met in Iran, where Annan pressured Tehran to play a role in solving the conflict. "We agreed on an approach which I will share with the armed opposition," he said.