The Facebook post came from the Free Alawite Movement, an organization that represents a crucial but widely underreported sentiment in Syria: that of the Alawites who wants Assad
out of power.
Syria's Foreign Ministry quickly responded by accusing Erdogan of himself supporting terrorist groups that are fighting against Assad
in Syria's civil war.
On the same day, in New York, Haley stated "our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad
With more than four million Syrian refugees, Assad
did not specify how many of those refugees were terrorists, but said, "you don't need a significant number to commit atrocities," and added that it took fewer than 20 terrorists to commit the attacks on Sept.
announced he was gearing up for a decisive victory in Aleppo, notwithstanding a request from Trump's advisers to Putin to hold back from the final step and refrain from retaking every last eastern district from rebel hands.
They never said a single word regarding this," Assad
told NBC News when asked whether Putin or Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had talked to him about a political transition in Syria, where a civil war has raged since 2011.
In this light, Assad
's recent visit to Moscow, even as Russia reaffirmed the importance of a political settlement to the crippling war, is designed to showcase their commitment that they will not relinquish Assad
as part of any transitional government as the West and most of the regional powers demand.
There was no need for such a conversation with President Assad
," Lavrov said at his annual press conference in response to media reports that Moscow had allegedly suggested Assad
President Hollande is even more hostile to Assad
than his foreign minister, having declared: "Nothing must be done to bolster Bashar al-Assad
, who is the problem, and cannot therefore be the solution" - referring to the new series of Vienna talks begun on Oct.
There was no agreement on the key issue, whether Assad
would be compelled to leave power as part of a transition to a new Syrian government.
was making his first overseas trip since civil war erupted in his country in 2011, with an estimated 340,000 people killed so far.
Recent statements from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an and several other European leaders seemed to indicate that Putin's new strategy to keep Assad
in place might work.