Russia has acknowledged for the first time that Syrian rebels could win against President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict that has gone on for 20 months.
A top Russian diplomat stated on Thursday that Syrian rebels are gaining in their effort to oust Assad, reports The Washington Post. The diplomat, Mikhail Bogdanov, added that Moscow is preparing for the possibility that its ally could lose the bloody conflict.
There has been no sign that Russia, who has been acting as Syria’s largest ally, has so far declined to join other foreign nations in supporting the opposition or pressuring Assad to step down.
It appears that, while they are acknowledging Assad may not win, they have no plans to support the opposition. Bogdanov stated:
“The opposition’s victory, regrettably, cannot be ruled out. We need to face the truth. A current tendency is that the regime and the government keep losing control over an ever-growing territory.”
Al Jazeera notes that Russia is not the only one to make statements about Syria’s government losing ground to the rebels. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated on Thursday that he believes the Syrian government will soon collapse.
Rasmussen also condemned the Syrian government for using Scud missiles against rebels. Anders added, “I think the regime in Damascus is approaching collapse. I think now it is only a question of time.” The NATO secretary-general added of the reported use of Scud missiles that the Syrian government was showing an “utter disregard” for the lives of Syrian people.
Syria’s foreign ministry has denied using Scud missiles against rebel fighters. Do you think that Russia acknowledging Syrian rebels may win against Assad is a sign that the regime may be collapsing?