Tuesday 22nd Jan 2019
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ASSAD’S PROSPECTS FADING: RUSSIA

Muslim World

Russia said the chances of Syrian President Bashar Assad staying in power were growing “smaller and smaller,” as fighting 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 days may now be numbered, although they come after predictions from France, an avowed enemy, and from neighbouring Jordan 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 said.

Moscow has since accused the West of breaching sovereign rights and has vetoed UN action against Assad. Medvedev warned that removing Assad by force would mean “decades” of civil war.
Russia has been Assad’s most important ally throughout the 22-month-old Syrian conflict, which began with peaceful street protests and evolved into an armed uprising against his rule.
Moscow has blocked three Security Council resolutions aimed at pushing him out or pressuring him to end the bloodshed which has killed more than 60,000 people. But Russia has also distanced itself from Assad by saying it is not trying to prop him up and will not offer him asylum.



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