Russian Diplomat Says Assad Willing to Step Down in ‘Civilized Way’
Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to step down but only in a “civilized” manner, Russia’s ambassador to France said Friday.
Alexandre Orlov, whose country is a traditional ally of Syria and the Assad clan, told French radio station RFI: “I believe it is difficult for him to remain after everything that has happened … and in some way he has accepted this.”
This would be great news for Syrians, if true. I have read some conflicting reports, which say that Syrian state television has categorically denied Assad’s willingness to step down. (Article is in German).
I say good news for Syrians, rather than categorically for Syria, since the ability or even willingness of the Free Syrian Army to allow a peaceful transition is in some doubt, given reports that Sunni FSA irregulars are executing POWs in site of Shia Iraq. Similar reports of mass executions of “shabiha” militias by FSA irregulars are coming from Syrian state media.