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More time needed to end Syria conflict: Assad

Published on Aug 29, 2012 3:46 PM
A Free Syrian Army fighter fires an AK-47 rifle at Syrian Army soldiers during clashes in the El Amreeyeh neighbourhood of Syria's northwest city of Aleppo on Aug 28, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria needs more time to end the conflict raging across the country, President Bashar al-Assad said in a television interview to be broadcast by pro-regime Addounia channel on Wednesday.

Mr Assad also scoffed at an idea being championed by Turkey of creating buffer zones within Syria to receive those displaced by the conflict, in advance excerpts of the interview screened by the private channel.

"I can summarise in one phrase: we are progressing, the situation on the ground is better but we have not yet won - this will take more time," Mr Assad said. "Talk of buffer zones firstly is not on the table and secondly it is an unrealistic idea by hostile countries and the enemies of Syria," he added.

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday France was working with its partners on the possible establishment of such buffer zones, which are aimed at preventing those displaced by the fighting flooding over the borders into neighbouring states.

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