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Neither Side Can Win, Syrian Vice-president Says
December 17, 2012

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The Vice-president of Syria has stated publicly that he thinks neither side will win the armed struggle ravaging the countryside and has urged a negotiated settlement followed by a national election to form a unity government.

Farouk al-Sharaa, a personal friend of and longtime adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, made the comments during an interview with a newspaper published in neighboring Lebanon. The uprising-turned-civil war has nearly reached the two-year mark, with, activists say, more than 40,000 dead and a country dotted with strongholds of both government and opposition forces.

Also, Syria's main remaining ally in the region, Iran, released a peace proposal that would culminate in an election and a new leader. That proposal followed a recent assessment from Russia, which is still sending weapons shipments to Assad's forces, that the government might be losing control.

Opposition forces, newly recognized by a handful of Western nations and Gulf states, have made significant gains in recent weeks, seizing control of air, army, and infantry bases in Aleppo and Damascus, the two largest cities. Aid from supporters has increased as well.




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