US Officials: Assad is Winning
The Chairman of the House intelligence committee said Sunday that there are no signs that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing his grip on power
“We don’t see Assad’s inner circle crumbling,” Mike Rogers told CNN.
The Syrian leadership believes “it is winning” against rebels trying to topple the government, Roger's added, citing classified US intelligence reports.
Meanwhile, in Syria this week, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad al Makdissi all but proclaimed victory over the uprising.
"The battle to topple the state is over," he told Syrian state television.
Makdissi's remarks were made on the same day the “Friends of Syria” member states recognized the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) as a legitimate representative of all Syrians.
The members “noted” the SNC was the main opposition interlocutor with the international community, wording that fell short of full recognition.
They also declined to make any mention of supporting or arming of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), as advocated by some Gulf Arab states.
Assad has scored numerous victories over the FSA in recent months, with reports of war crimes including mass rape, torture, and executions in former rebel strongholds becoming commonplace.
However, the FSA has managed to launch numerous deadly hit-and-run raids in the capital of Damascus - Assad's own bastion of power - in recent weeks.
The countries of the "Friends of Syria" have instead called on UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to give al-Assad a timeline to deliver on his ceasefire commitment.
"The regime will be judged by its deeds rather than its promises," said a communiqué issued by representatives of 83 nations in Turkey.
It called on Annan "to determine a timeline for next steps, including a return to the U.N. Security Council, if the killing continues."
Annan already called for an immediate ceasefire last week saying, "the time is now."
Assad has accepted, but not yet implemented, Annan’s six-point peace plan, which calls for the military to cease fire, withdraw from towns and cities, and allow humanitarian access.
The Syrian regime’s deadly crackdown on opponents has left more than 9,100 people dead since the uprising began in March last year, according to rights officials.