Russian P.M.: Assad Losing Power

    In this image taken from TV Syria's president Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview in Tehran, Iran, Thursday June 28, 2012. Assad told Iranian state TV Thursday that his country still supports him, and he warned that any intervention in Syria will cause a "domino" effect in the region. He has given similar warnings before, saying the entire Middle East will go up in flames if others meddle in his country. (AP Photo/IRIB TV via APTN) NO IRAN NO BBC PERSIAN NO VOA PERSIAN NO MANOTO TV

    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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