'Assad's embattled regime on brink of collapse', says NATO chief

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 06:10 hrs

Collapse of Syrian regime appears inevitable and defeat could be near for Syria's embattled regime, the head of NATO has said.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said President Basshar al-Assad Government is "approaching collapse."

"I think now it's only a question of time. I urge the regime to stop violence, to realize what is the actual situation and initiate a process that leads to the accommodation of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," CNN quoted Rasmussen, as saying.

According to the report, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also offered a similar view from Moscow, noting what he said were rebel reports that victory was imminent.

"We need to look the facts in the eye. Unfortunately, we can't exclude a victory by the opposition," he said.

Bogdanov's comments seem to indicate Russia, Syria's most powerful ally and protector, has apparently begun positioning itself for the fall of Assad.

His comments came as opposition groups said they had seized a military base near Damascus and amid calls by the Local Coordination Committees for rebels to push for the fall of the capital, the report said.

"We all know that the battle is not going to be easy and that the regime will defend its existence by the most brutal means, as we have become accustomed to seeing," the opposition group said. (ANI)

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