'Here to Stay', Syrian President Assad's defiant message

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'Here to Stay', Syrian President Assad's defiant message

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President Bashar al-Assad has said he will not step down, as the conflict in Syria enters its third year. In an interview with Argentinian newspaper Clarin, he said ‘to resign would be to flee’.

He also said US and Russian attempts at peace talks were doomed to failure, claiming that rebel groups were too fractured to enable any kind of ceasefire or summit.

Assad blamed neighbouring states for supporting the insurgency, saying that they want to fuel the violence rather than stop it.

The conversation in the presidential palace was held amid the sound of gunfire as Damascus remains the focus of intense fighting.

On Saturday a car bomb in the capital killed three people, according to state TV, adding to a death toll that has already reached over 80,000.