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UN's Syrian Ambassador: 'No-fly-zone is a declaration of war'

Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations Photo: Allison Joyce / Reuters

In an interview with ITV News, Syria's Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Ja'afari, warns that the French proposal for a no-fly zone would be regarded as an "act of war" by Syria.

Would the no-fly zone, would that - if it was ever imposed - be regarded as an act of war that would change the entire dynamic?

Absolutely, absolutely. This is a violation of international law and an invasion of our sovereignty. When you act illegally, you have to assume the consequences of your action. That would be an escalation - a very grave and serious escalation.

– Bashar Ja'afari

The Syrian Ambassador went on to attack the provision of weapons to opposition groups, yet defended the flow of arms from Russia to his government:

We are a state, not a banana republic. We have the right to import weapons from whomever we judge suitable for us. We have been importing weapons for decades.

Would Britain tolerate an armed group taking weapons inside London and attacking buildings and infrastructure?

– Bashar Ja'afari

Watch the full interview with the Syrian Ambassador tonight on News at Ten, which will be aired at 11pm due to delays at Euro 2012.