BEIRUT — Ignoring mounting casualties and dwindling support, Syrian President Bashar Assad made clear to the world Sunday in his first public address in half a year that he has no intention of relinquishing power and that he, not anyone else, would dictate the end for Syria's 21-month-old civil war.Continue reading.
Assad unveiled his own peace plan, with cosmetic similarities to a settlement proposal championed by internationally sponsored peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, but he declared he had no partner for negotiations in the Syrian opposition, whom he continued to brand as killers and terrorists.
Assad's dismissive attitude and strict terms for settlement offered little hope for a diplomatic breakthrough. It was a reminder of how intractable the conflict has become, with the U.N. estimating last week that more than 60,000 people had died.
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