BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad said it's still too early to say whether he'll run for re-election next year, but that he would refrain from seeking a third term — if he feels that's what most Syrians want him to do.

Assad, who spoke in an interview with Turkey's private Halk TV, made no mention of his government's role in the civil war that has killed at least 100,000 people so far, instead blaming foreign fighters and governments, including Turkey's, for the bloodshed.

The interview, broadcast late Thursday, was the latest in a series the Syrian president has given to foreign media as part of a charm offensive in the wake of the Russian-brokered deal that averted the threat of a U.S. airstrike over an August chemical weapons attack, which killed hundreds of people.

Regarding a potential bid for another seven-year term, "the picture will be clearer" in the next four to five months because Syria is going though "rapid" changes on the ground, Assad said.

Assad has been president since 2000 when he took over after his father and predecessor, Hafez Assad, died after ruling Syria for three decades. His second seven-year-term ends in mid-2014.

Syria's opposition wants Assad to step down and hand over power to a transitional government until new elections are held.

Despite the bloody conflict, Assad still enjoys wide support among minorities, including Christians and members of his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

"If I have a feeling that the Syrian people want me to be president in the coming period I will run for the post," Assad said. "If the answer is no, I will not run and I don't see a problem in that."

Assad used the interview to attack Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warning Ankara will pay "a high price" for allowing foreign fighters to enter Syria from its territory to fight the Syrian government forces.

Erdogan has been one of Assad's harshest critics since Syria's uprising erupted in March 2011.

"This government, represented by Erdogan, is responsible for the blood of tens of thousands of Syrians, and is responsible for the destruction of Syria's infrastructure," Assad said. It is also "responsible for endangering security of the region, not only Syria."

"You cannot hide terrorists in your pocket. They are like a scorpion, which will eventually sting you," Assad added, saying Muslim extremists from more than 80 countries are coming to Syria by sneaking across the border with Turkey.

Meanwhile, a team of international weapons experts visiting Syria left their Damascus hotel early Friday, heading out on their fourth day of work in the country. Their mission — endorsed by a U.N. Security Council resolution last week — is to scrap Syria's capacity to manufacture chemical weapons by Nov. 1 and to destroy Assad's entire stockpile by mid-2014.

Their mission stems from the deadly Aug. 21 attack on opposition-held Damascus suburbs in which the U.N. has determined the nerve agent sarin was used. The U.S. and its allies accuse Assad's government of being responsible for the attack, while Damascus blames the rebels. The U.S. has said it killed 1,400 people. Death toll estimates by activists and rights groups are significantly lower, but still in the hundreds.

In the interview with Halk TV, Assad dismissed long circulating rumours that his secretive younger brother, Maher Assad, a top army brigadier general, had been wounded in an assassination attempt.

"All rumours about our family during the crisis are baseless lies," Assad said, and added about Maher: "He is present and on top of his work, at his post and in good health."

The younger Assad commands elite troops tasked with protecting Damascus from rebels on the city's outskirts. He is widely believed to have played a key role in directing the campaign against the uprising in the early days of 2011. He has also gained a reputation for brutality among opposition activists.

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  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian woman smokes a cigarette outside her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. President Michel Suleiman has said at least one million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, with thousands more crossing over each week. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian woman adjusts her scarf inside her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. President Michel Suleiman has said at least one million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, with thousands more crossing over each week. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, Syrian siblings pose for a portrait near their tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. Prolonged exposure to violence, losing their homes, and the loss of loved ones are leaving the children of Syria with lasting emotional scars, UNICEF said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, an elderly Syrian woman poses for a portrait inside her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. President Michel Suleiman has said at least one million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, with thousands more crossing over each week. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian girl poses for a portrait inside her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. President Michel Suleiman has said at least one million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, with thousands more crossing over each week. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian refugee boy stands inside the kitchen of a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. Many of the refugees stay in collective shelters, underground parking lots and abandoned construction sites, on sidewalks, under bridges and in tin shacks strung with laundry lines. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian girl eats a tomato at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. UNICEF estimates that more than 4 million Syrian children are affected by the ongoing conflict. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, an elderly Syrian woman poses for a portrait near her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. For those who cannot afford rent prices, living conditions can be appalling. Unlike in Jordan and Turkey, the Lebanese government has ruled out erecting refugee camps for political reasons. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian girl poses for a portrait inside her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. Lebanon, a tiny country of about 4.5 million, now hosts over 700,000 refugees. Many more are unregistered and uncounted. President Michel Suleiman has said at least one million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, with thousands more crossing over each week. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian girl poses for a portrait near her tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. About 200 refugees live together in tents pitched near the Syrian border. They offer no protection from Lebanon's sizzling summers and its freezing winters, and there is barely any running water and no electricity. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 photo, a Syrian refugee woman smokes a cigarette outside of her tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. She is just one of Syria's refugees in Lebanon, driven out of their homes by a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 and displaced millions. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • Syrian refugee boys wash their hands inside a kitchen a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon, which shares a border with Syria, is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

  • A Syrian refugee sits on the ground at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Mohammed Bakir

    Syrian refugee Mohammed Bakir, who suffers from a disability due to heavy shelling, according to his family, sits on a wheelchair inside his tent at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • A Syrian refugee girl drinks water from a hose near a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • Syrian refugee children run near their tents a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese own of al-Faour in the Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

  • Syrian refugee men rest inside a tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Mohammed Ahmed, 20, right, who fled his home with his family from Baba Amro, Homs province, carries his son at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Syrian refugee boy stands outside his tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Youssef, walks near his tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Youssef's father, a Free Syrian Army fighter was killed during the civil war. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Syrian refugee girl flashes the victory sign inside her tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Syrian refugee family rest outside their tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Mohammed Ahmed, 20, rests inside his tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Syrian refugee girl washes rice outside her tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Essam, left, trims a mans hair, as children pose for a photograph at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Essam opened his own barber shop at the refugee camp and charges 2 dollars per cut to make a living, after aid has decreased drastically in the past couple of months. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Khalid El-Abd, 60, who suffers from cerebral palsy, poses for a photograph at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Syrian refugee girl stands outside her tent at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugees carry aid supplies distributed by the UNHCR, near a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Syrian refugee, Essam, left, trims a mans hair at a temporary refugee camp, in the eastern Lebanese town of al-Faour, Bekaa valley near the border with Syria, Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Essam opened his own barber shop at the refugee camp and charges 2 dollars per cut to make a living, after aid has decreased drastically in the past couple of months. Lebanon is a tiny country that shares a porous border with Syria, and has seen cross-border shelling, sectarian clashes and car bombings in recent months related to the civil war raging next door. The country of 4.5 million already is already host to nearly 1 million Syrian refugees. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)