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Assad denies civil war in Syria; opponents face unity talks

Last Updated: Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 00:19

Zeenews Bureau

Damascus: The Syrian Opposition met here on Friday for crucial unity talks on whether to join other groups in a more unified Opposition, as per a BBC news report.

The proposed Syrian National Initiative aims to merge the disparate military and political groups to form a credible alternative to the Assad government.

The main armed rebel group said it was undergoing a drastic re-organisation. Whereas President Bashar al-Assad denied Syria was in a state of civil war.

From a long time the western and Gulf states have been pushing for such a body, which would act as a conduit for humanitarian - and possibly military – aid, BBC further said.

In an interview with Russian television, Assad warned that Syria was facing a protracted conflict because foreign powers were backing the rebels, but insisted there was no civil war.

If support for rebels from abroad stopped, Assad told state-run Russia Today (RT), "I can tell that in weeks we can finish everything.

"But as long as you have a continuous supply in terrorists, armaments, logistics and everything else, it is going to be a long-term war."

Assad admitted divisions existed in the country, but said "division does not mean civil war", said his future could be decided only through the ballot box and denied his forces had committed war crimes.

RT had yesterday released excerpts of the interview in which Assad vowed to "live in Syria and die in Syria" and warned that foreign intervention in his country would have global consequences.

Assad`s comments came as his foes in the opposition met in the Qatari capital Doha for Western- and Arab-backed efforts to unite in a government-in-waiting representing the whole spectrum of regime opponents.

First Published: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 18:23
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