Russia mistaken in backing Assad: Ex-Syria PM

DOHA (AA) – Former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab has ruled out a military victory by regime forces in Syria’s 7-year civil war, saying Russia will eventually realize it was mistaken in supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime.

“The regime has no [enough] forces or military capability to take control of Idlib,” Hijab said in an interview with the Doha-based Al Jazeera television.

“Everyone knows, even Assad himself and his top brass that they are under the protection and guardianship of Russian special forces,” he said.

Hijab, a former opposition negotiator, said “signs of weakness are evident in the structure of the Syrian state”.

“There is an outbreak of unacceptable and unreasonable practices such as areas in regime-held areas let alone tit-for-tat killings between militias and regime forces,” he said.

He cited that more than 40 regime officers and members had been killed, but without giving a specific date for the killings.

"The regime is in the worst situation,” he said. “Russia is working to disband pro-regime militias.”

"Russia will realize sooner or later that Assad does not deserve all this effort and support and that it has committed a mistake in supporting Assad,” Hijab said.

“There is a whole series of failures and deterioration by the regime that cares about its own interests even at the expense of its own community and people."

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