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Defeat could be near for Syria’s embattled regime, NATO and Syrian ally Russia said Thursday.
“I think now it’s only a question of time,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels, Belgium, where he and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the deployment of two Patriot air-defense batteries to Turkey’s border with Syria.
The al-Assad government is “approaching collapse,” Rasmussen said. “I urge the regime to stop violence, to realize what is the actual situation and initiate a process that leads to the accommodation of the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov offered a similar view from Moscow, noting what he said were rebel reports that victory was imminent.
“We need to look the facts in the eye,” the state-run RIA Novosti news service quoted Bogdanov as saying. “Unfortunately, we can’t exclude a victory by the opposition.”