1. GRIM ASSESSMENT

    Russian P.M.: Assad Losing Power

    IRIB TV, via AP

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sought to distance Moscow from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview Sunday, saying that Assad “had much closer allies among the Europeans” and that Russia “never said that our goal was to preserve the current political regime.” He also claimed to have personally lobbied Assad to grant reforms and that ignoring his advice was an “important, if not fatal” mistake. “The chances for him surviving are slipping way as days and weeks go by,” Medvedev said. But he also warned that if Assad’s rule is “swept away,” it could result in a conflict that could last “for decades.”

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