Russia: Assad's days numbered
MOSCOW — Russia said the chances of Syrian President Bashar Assad staying in power were growing “smaller and smaller,” as fighting on Sunday in southwestern Damascus shut a main highway from the capital.
Assad has long counted Moscow as an ally and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's remarks were the most vocal Russian statement yet that his grip is slipping. France, and neighboring Jordan last week predicted that the Syrian president's downfall is not imminent.
“I think that with every day, every week and every month, the chances of his preservation are getting smaller and smaller,” Medvedev told CNN.
“But I repeat again, this must be decided by the Syrian people. Not Russia, not the United States, nor any other country,” said Medvedev, whose administration has criticized Western, Turkish and Gulf Arab support for rebels.
“The task for the United States, the Europeans and regional powers ... is to sit the parties down for negotiations, and not just demand that Assad go and then be executed like Gaddafi or be carried to court sessions on a stretcher like Hosni Mubarak.”
Moscow has blocked three U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at pushing Assad out or pressuring him to end the bloodshed, which has killed more than 60,000 people.
France said on Thursday there was no sign Assad was about to be overthrown, reversing previous statements that he could not hold out long, and Jordan's King Abdullah said Assad would consolidate his grip.
“Anybody who is saying the regime of Bashar has got weeks to live really doesn't know the reality on the ground,” Abdullah said in Davos on Friday. “They still have capability, so I give them a strong shot at least for the first half of 2013.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Afghan president calls for ‘holy war’ against corruption
- Pakistan allows gathering of 1,000 Taliban amid leadership rift
- Pakistan says U.S. cut trees illegally
- Egypt, sans parliament for more than 3 years, sets elections
- Malaysia Prime Minister Najib scorns thousands demanding his resignation
- British Columbia windstorm knocks out electricity
- Professors slam Modi’s record
- Hungary bars migrants from trains, raising fears they’ll turn to smugglers
- Migrant surge: Europe ill-prepared for invasion of foreigners
- Suicide bomber kills wife, 2 kids in Pakistan police raid
- Al-Jazeera English journalists head to prison in Egypt