No. 2 man in Syria: Each side losing
Rare admission comes after rebels take another base.
BEIRUT — Syria’s longtime vice president said Sunday that his regime and the rebels are both going down a losing path after 21 months of civil war, a rare admission by a top government official that President Bashar Assad’s victory is unlikely.
The comments by Farouk al-Sharaa came as an Islamist faction of Syrian rebels captured an infantry base in the northern city of Aleppo, and Syrian warplanes blasted a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing eight people and wounding dozens, activists said.
Al-Sharaa told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar that neither the rebels nor the Assad regime can “decide the battle militarily.” It appeared to be an attempt to show that the rebels are not the solution to the Syria conflict, and their victory might bring chaos
Egypt said Sunday that it has evacuated more than 4,000 of its nationals from Syria over the past few months. The Cairo Foreign Ministry statement did not give further details. Egypt’s national airline halted flights to and from Syria last month because of the deteriorating security situation.
Also Sunday, Iran put forward a sixpoint plan to end the Syria civil war, including negotiations, presidential elections and a halt to arms shipments. This came during a twoday meeting of 200 representatives of Syrian communities, but no prominent rebels. The rebels are unlikely to relate to the plan, as they refuse to talk to Assad and consider Iran unqualified to mediate because of its support of the regime. to the country.
Balancing that, he said the Assad regime “cannot achieve change.”
The solution to the conflict must come from within Syria, al-Sharaa said, adding that any political settlement “must include stopping all types of violence, and the creation of a national unity government with wide powers.”