Bashar al-Assad: 'There Was No Command to Kill'

Barbara Walters discusses brutal crackdown of protests with Syria's president.
5:53 | 12/07/11

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Transcript for Bashar al-Assad: 'There Was No Command to Kill'
-- ABC news exclusive from Barbara Walters. All year long we've seen dictator after dictator fall in the Middle East and for nine months Syria's Bashar Al Assad has just -- trying to avoid that fate. With a brutal crackdown that is taking -- but the 4000. People. All that time president Todd has not given any television interviews to anyone in the west until now. Barbara Walters is here with us -- Barbara I was watching -- -- you really in his face what. Judge there was no restrictions there were no guidelines we were free to ask. Any questions. -- shot outside as a -- by accident and mild man the ophthalmologist. He studied medicine in England and found himself. Thrust into the role of the series leader after the deaths of his dictator of product and out of Gaza. He insisted to me that he has -- in support of much of this country. But not many others believe that and I began by asking him how he ended up in the position he's in. Not long ago you were widely seen as sad a fresh pragmatic leader. A doctor whose life was in -- people. Not saying much of the world regards you as a dictator and tyrant. -- you say that that. What's important told the -- people who cut through the political tilt of -- typical Clinton dean of protests. Again live after the detention and torture. Have children we'll writing graffiti calling -- them. I've seen an awful. What happens. And why this is such a brutal crackdown -- and why didn't some reasonable -- -- a thirteen year old boy who was arrested in April a month later his body was returned. To his family bearings for us after -- A famous cartoonist to you know who was critical review. Badly beaten his on took him. A singer famous anchor who -- a popular song calling for your ouster he was found with this thought cuts. You have seen these pictures -- -- not. No but those -- this -- and it's not new assignment but he fumbled with the although such content and -- -- the to have pulled from the cartoonist. Cartoonists who is critical view I've seen his pictures his hands -- broken he was beaten. Many people -- particulate and who could who. Most of the people -- being cued up support for the government public confidence what about the single with this outcome I don't know the ultimate -- -- -- everything -- I think this sorry I don't know I don't know I don't think famous -- In the beginning these protests and the winners -- marching with children and our actions and I didn't. That fast food -- It has excellent. Do you think if you -- forces. Cracked down too hot. -- -- -- -- Bill -- -- for the bill for the government al-Qaeda carried a little -- confident that it happened a Little League coach Phil did not -- you'll have to gives you what. No -- -- not by your command. And no we don't have nobody -- comment. There was no comment too cute -- can be brutal people went from houses to houses children were arrested. I -- those pictures. Two B time could be about political if you how to do no good if you have -- hit to see. We don't feel if so can of the influencing him and -- an -- not being noticed -- brought back just get towed out to be verified those pictures. Yet so -- that if the -- -- can vote for communications and has told him forget that the. The last week an independent united nations commission issued a report but it said respect your government committed. Crimes against humanity he. And they went on torture and rape and other forms of sexual violence against protesters. Including against children. What do you say to them do you acknowledge that do you acknowledge what the UN said. They compelled states handle the documents and that a concrete evidence -- that you have and -- the eventual wealth you have not often engage communication with them. Did do you when not send -- these. Document nothing has told the truth send us the documents the only difficulty -- will -- and that incidents since we cannot say if personal. We cannot -- just -- -- up initial posted that the United Nations. Is accredited institution. You do not think the United Nations to scrap no you have an ambassador. Of the imagination here is seeking to please the public -- if you've been. You have set off -- that you don't see yourself doing this job for life means that you're doing -- for your country and with all the terminal -- country. Isn't. Perhaps that Syria. That you -- London and its leader. I don't have called for me it's both public support for the for the most important thing so when I feel that the public support the kind. Won't be even if they think -- -- Obama and -- convenient -- public support -- -- that's. Conclusive. What do you think is the biggest misconception. That my country. Hasn't what's happening here. If indeed there is a misconception. We don't kill our people nobody can you -- government can go wouldn't -- in its people and yes. This -- buddy Chris because of Communist president I became president because local public support. It's impossible to pull anyone disk -- to be able -- -- could do you feel. Guilty. I thought I didn't -- it's appropriate for people to -- -- treated you when you do your best -- voted for the -- that has been lost. But you don't feel duty when you don't keep people.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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