Assad to share power?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ready to hold snap parliamentary elections and could share power with a “healthy” opposition. Russia, along with Iran, has been Assad’s principle international ally in the war that has raged in Syria for four-and-a-half years and has claimed a quarter of a million lives. Moscow has made clear it does not want to see Assad toppled and has seized on gains made by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq to urge his foreign foes, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, to work with Damascus to combat the common enemy. “We really want to create some kind of an international coalition to fight terrorism and extremism,” Putin told journalists on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, saying he had spoken to U.S. President Barack Obama on the matter”.

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