Syrian vice-president says army can't defeat rebels


Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions, close to a military base, near Azaz, Syria, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. The gains by rebel forces came as the European Union denounced the Syrian conflict, which activists say has killed more than 40,000 people. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's vice president says the army cannot defeat the rebel forces fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

The interview with Farouk al-Sharaa in a Lebanese newspaper offered a bleak view of the situation in Syria that is rarely heard from high level government officials who justify the bloody crackdown on dissent as a necessary battle against terrorists.

Al-Sharaa was quoted as saying the military onslaught on the opposition will not lead to definitive victory after 21 months of conflict.

The full interview with Al-Akhbar newspaper was published on Monday as rebel forces were moving closer to Damascus, Assad's seat of power.

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