Syria's President Bashar al Assad has said that talk of a Western-imposed buffer zone on Syrian territory is "not practical", adding that more time is needed to win the conflict against rebels trying to overthrow the regime.
Mr Assad spoke in an interview with Syria's Addounia television, excerpts of which were broadcast on Wednesday.
"I believe that talk about a buffer zone is not practical, even for those countries which are playing a hostile role (against Syria)," Mr Assad said.
Neighbouring Turkey has floated the idea of a buffer zone to be set up for civilians under foreign protection as the fighting intensifies in the 17-month-old uprising against Mr Assad's rule.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has urged the United Nations to care for displaced Syrians inside their own country instead of letting them flood into Turkey.
"We expect the United Nations to engage on the topic of protecting refugees inside Syria and if possible sheltering them in camps there," Mr Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara.
Ankara fears a repeat of the flight of half a million Iraqi Kurds into Turkey after the 1991 Gulf War.
Turkey already hosts more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. The United Nations has said that up to 200,000 Syrians could flee to Turkey if the conflict worsens.
But Nato-member Turkey is reluctant to act alone to set up the safe haven, since protecting it from attack by Syrian forces would effectively mean military intervention in the conflict.
There is scant Western appetite for military action in Syria and no prospect of a UN Security Council mandate for it, given Russian and Chinese willingness to veto any such proposal.
Mr Assad's comments on the safe haven come a day after a car bomb exploded at the funeral of two government loyalists in a Damascus suburb, killing 27 people, and as the Syrian army kept up its bombardment of rebel strongholds in the east of the capital.
Fighting between rebels and loyalist troops continues in several flashpoint regions, including in the commercial hub Aleppo, the northwestern Idlib province and in eastern Deir Ezzor.
Meanwhile, a commander with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has appeared to acknowledge that the Islamic republic is playing a military role in the Syrian conflict.
General Salar Abnoush said in a speech reported by the regime-run Daneshjoo news agency that Iran was "involved in fighting every aspect of a war" in Syria.
"Today we are involved in fighting every aspect of a war, a military one in Syria and a cultural one as well," he said.
The comments contradict those of top Iranian officials, who have previously insisted that the country is not involved in the Syrian conflict.