Top Syrian official rules out Assad departure

A top Syrian official said on Wednesday that the opposition has to let go of its “dream” for a transitional government, saying that such a thing amounts to a coup d’etat and “will never be accepted.” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said most of the world with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Turkey — two strong backers of insurgents fighting to topple President Bashar Assad — have all but relinquished calls for the Syrian leader to step down, having realized after five years of war that he was fighting against “terrorists” in the country.



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