Syria Live Coverage: “Chances of Assad’s Preservation Are Smaller and Smaller”


28.1.2013 | Scott Lucas in EA Live, EA Middle East and Turkey – Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev: “Every week and every month the chances of [President Assad’s] preservation are getting smaller and smaller”

0540 GMT: The Local Coordination Committees report 106 people killed on Sunday, including 41 in Damascus and its suburbs, 18 in Homs Province, and 16 in Aleppo Province.

0530 GMT: A Russian Intervention. With no significant change in the “normal” of regime bombardment and insurgent pressure on President Assad’s military in the north, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev took the headlines Sunday with a grim forecast for Assad: “I think that with every day, every week and every month the chances of his preservation are getting smaller and smaller.”

Medvedev criticised the Syrian leader for failures early in the two-year conflict, “He should have done everything much faster, attracting part of the moderate opposition, which was ready to sit at the table with him, to his side. This was his grave mistake, and possibly a fatal one.” Despite the marked break in Russia’s line that Assad will stay in power, even during a transitional government, there was no shift in Moscow’s position on foreign intervention: “I repeat, again, this must be decided by the Syrian people. Not Russia, not the United States, not any other country.”