Russia may be resigned to Syria regime change


BEIRUT — In Moscow, Syria’s most important international ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he is not preoccupied much with the fate of President Bashar Assad’s regime and knows changes in the country are needed.

It was another blow to the regime from its most important international ally, coming just a week after Russia’s top envoy for Syria was quoted as saying Assad’s forces were losing control of the country. Although the Foreign Ministry backpedaled on that statement, analysts have suggested for months that the Kremlin is resigned to losing its longtime ally.

“Undoubtedly, there is a call for changes,” Putin said.

Meanwhile, days of intense fighting in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp subsided today and some of the more than 100,000 residents who fled the violence in the capital Damascus began to trickle back, activists and officials said.

Fighting has been raging for days in the refugee camp. More than two-thirds of the roughly 150,000 Palestinian residents have fled the camp since last week when the fighting flared up.


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