From NEW YORK TIMES:
“…But behind the veneer of normality, Mr. Assad has grown increasingly aggressive, declaring his determination to wipe out the opposition, insisting that he is standing against an imperialist enemy. Gone from at least his public statements is any talk of finding a political settlement, while he ratchets up his military drive to try to regain lost territory.
For two and a half years, the president has never wavered from his position that the uprising is a foreign plot — and he continues to refuse to express any responsibility or remorse for the blood washing over Syria. He has steadfastly rejected calling it a civil war…”