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Syria VP: Assad won't win, but neither will the rebels.
In a rare interview, Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Shara admitted to a Lebanese newspaper that no one side is strong enough to prevail militarily in Syria.
“The opposition forces combined cannot decide the battle militarily, meanwhile what the security forces and the army units are doing will not reach a conclusive end," al-Shara told Lebanon's Al-Akhbar an a piece to be published in full on Monday.
The comments are al-Shara's first official remarks on the conflict since last July, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“The opposition with its different factions, civilian, armed, or ones with external ties, cannot claim to be the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian People, just as the current rule with its ideological army and its confrontation parties lead by the Baath, cannot achieve change without new partners," al-Shara said.
As of Wednesday, 114 countries had recognized the newly-formed National Coalition for Opposition Forces and the Syrian Revolution as the official voice of the opposition fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The push to legitimize the opposition comes amid rising concerns over militant presence among rebel groups in Syria.
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Al-Shara attributed this to a decrease in nonviolent protest activity there, but offered no evidence to support his view. “The drop in the number of peaceful protesters led one way or another to the rise in militants," he told Al-Akhbar.
Violence in Syria, where Assad is been fighting a 21-month armed insurrection against his rule, has taken some 40,000 lives.
International efforts to help resolve the crisis there have not been successful.