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The Boston Globe

World

Speculation of Bashar Assad exit grows

Syrian official says army can’t defeat rebels

BEIRUT — The acknowledgment by Syria’s vice president that the army cannot defeat the rebel forces trying to topple the regime is fueling speculation that President Bashar Assad is contemplating an exit strategy as opposition fighters move closer to the capital, Damascus.

Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice president and a longtime loyalist to the Assad family, called Sunday for a negotiated political settlement that includes the formation of a national unity government with wide jurisdiction.

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