In a rare interview to a British paper, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said UK Prime Minister David Cameron was "naive, confused, unrealistic" in his approach to the Syrian conflict. He repeated his conditional offer of talks with the opposition and dismissed suggestions that he might step down.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said earlier Saturday that the Syrian ruler will stay in power at least until next year. DEBKAfile: Syria’s presidential elections are due in 2014, when Assad intends running for another five-year term.