Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

December 4, 2012

Fighting surges around Syrian capital of Damascus

(Continued)

BLUEFIELD —

"We still see people standing in a long line despite a massacre to get bread," the cameraman says.

The Observatory also reported 13 dead in a separate attack Monday in Aleppo's Halak neighborhood.

The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other reports on the incidents. Syria's government severely restricts media access, making independent confirmation nearly impossible.

Syria's uprising began with peaceful protests in March 2011 and later escalated into a civil war that the opposition says has killed more than 40,000 people. So far, both sides have refused international calls for a negotiated solution.

Most analysts agree that the tide is turning, however slowly, against the regime.

But Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the foreign policy magazine Russia in Global Affairs, said Assad won't leave without a fight.

"Assad realizes that there is no way back for him," said Lukyanov, a leading Russian foreign policy expert with high-level Foreign Ministry connections. "If he tries to jump the boat, his own supporters will not forgive him for doing that. And if he loses, no one will give him any guarantees."

___

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, Barbara Surk in Beirut, Ian Deitch in Jerusalem, Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Kimberly Dozier and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

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