Syrian VP: Neither Side Can Win Militarily

Urges 'Historic Settlement' to End Civil War

by Jason Ditz, December 16, 2012

In an interview today with a Lebanese newspaper, Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said he believes neither rebels nor regime can win the ongoing civil war militarily, and says he believes a settlement is necessary.

Sharaa, the top ranking Sunni in the Alawite-dominated Syrian government, says that the virtual stalemate in the civil war necessitates an “historic settlement” that would include an end to fighting and a unity government.

Though some reports presented this as the regime giving up on the idea of winning the civil war, Sharaa has remained quiet for months at a time, and it isn’t clear if his comments reflect the sentiment of the rest of the Assad regime’s leadership.

Such a settlement would likely benefit Sharaa significantly, as he has often been presented by pro-rebel governments, including Turkey, as a possible interim successor within the regime who would be tolerable until the eventual elections for a new government. It isn’t clear how rebels will react to the statement, however, as many continue to insist their own military victory is inevitable.

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