Russian source: Assad has "10% chance to survive"

Published July 4th, 2012 - 12:58 GMT

Western powers seek to convince Russia to grant political asylum to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reports said Wednesday. "Western countries, and primarily the United States, have been actively trying to persuade Moscow to host the Syrian leader and grant him political asylum," according to the Russian daily Kommersant, citing a Russian diplomatic source. But, the source said, Russia, a key ally of Damascus, "does not intend to welcome" the head of the Syrian state. A source close to the Kremlin believed that the Syrian president had "about 10% chance of remaining in power ".

For its part, China on Tuesday demanded that the "spirit" of the Agreement on Syria concluded Saturday in Geneva would be applied as quickly as possible, calling on the regime and the opposition to agree on the formation of a transitional government. "China believes that the urgency is that the agreement by the Task Force on the Syrian issue is implemented," said the spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Liu Weimin.

Meanwhile, the bodies of the two Turkish pilots whose fighter plane shot down on June 22 by the Syrian air defense forces in the eastern Mediterranean were found at the bottom of the sea, said Wednesday the Turkish army. "The bodies were located in the seabed and work is underway to pull them out of the water," said an online statement by Turkish General Staff.

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