Russia tells Assad there is no ‘military solution’ for Syria

MOSCOW – Russia has told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that there is no “military solution” to the country’s conflict, despite pro-government forces claiming victory over rebels in eastern Aleppo, according to a key Russian adviser to the United Nations’ Syria envoy.

In an exclusive interview with Middle East Eye, Professor Vitaly Naumkin, the president of the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Studies, said that Russia would continue to press Assad to accept a coalition government that would include members of the opposition. He did not specify which “opposition” groups he was referring to.

He also said he believed that Assad was more likely to make concessions at the next round of peace talks as a result of the recapture of formerly rebel-held territory in Syria’s largest city.

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