Syrian vice president says the army cannot defeat the rebels

12/17/2012
ASSOCIATED PRESS
APTOPIX-Mideast-Syria-44

A mosaic of Hafez Al Assad is seen after being shot at by FSA soldiers after heavy clashes with government forces at a military academy besieged by the rebels in Tal Sheer, Syria, Sunday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A mosaic of Hafez Al Assad is seen after being shot at by FSA soldiers after heavy clashes with government forces at a military academy besieged by the rebels in Tal Sheer, Syria, Sunday.
A mosaic of Hafez Al Assad is seen after being shot at by FSA soldiers after heavy clashes with government forces at a military academy besieged by the rebels in Tal Sheer, Syria, Sunday.

BEIRUT — Syria's vice president says the army cannot defeat the rebel forces fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

The interview with Farouk al-Sharaa in a Lebanese newspaper offered a bleak view of the situation in Syria that is rarely heard from high level government officials who justify the bloody crackdown on dissent as a necessary battle against terrorists.

Al-Sharaa was quoted as saying the military onslaught on the opposition will not lead to definitive victory after 21 months of conflict.

The full interview with Al-Akhbar newspaper was published today as rebel forces were moving closer to Damascus, Assad's seat of power.