Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said there will be an “earthquake” if the West intervenes in Syria.

Assad warned that Western intervention in Syria could result in the country turning into “another Afghanistan”, in an interview with UK-based Sunday Telegraph.

The Syrian president said that he believes Western countries were going to increase pressure on his country and warned that this could have repercussions on the rest of the region.

“Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the faultline, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake,” said Al-Assad in the interview.

“Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region,” he added.

More than 3,000 people are reported to have been killed in Syria since anti-government protests began in January. Al-Assad assumed power in 2000 after his father had ruled the country for three decades.