Defeat of Assad is possible, says Russian envoy

NATO also paints dire picture

Posted: December 14, 2012 at 3:06 a.m.

A rebel fighter grieves Thursday during a funeral in Azaz for a comrade killed by Syrian forces.

Russia’s top Middle East diplomat and the leader of NATO offered dark and strikingly similar assessments of the embattled Syrian president’s future Thursday, asserting that he was losing control of the country after a nearly two-year conflict that has taken 40,000 lives and has threatened to destabilize the Middle East.

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Front Section, Pages 1 on 12/14/2012