A Syrian child pictured yesterday in a village in the Idlib province. AP/Press Association Images

Syria war has reached stalemate

Neither side can win, the country’s deputy prime minister has said.

SYRIA’S DEPUTY PRIME Minister has said the country’s civil war has reached a stalemate.

Speaking exclusively to The Guardian, Qadri Jamil claimed that President Bashar Assad will call for a ceasefire at the Geneva conference on the state’s future.

“Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side,” he said. “This zero balance of forces will not change for a while.”

A ceasefire would require international observation by UN monitors or peacekeepers but Jamil insisted that they would have to come from neutral or friendly countries.

Any proposals from Syria would also include the cessation of any talk of military intervention.

The deputy PM, who joined the government last year, admitted that the country has suffered catastrophic losses in terms of finances, as well as loss of life. During the 30-month conflict, the economy has lost about $100 billion.

Humanitarian agencies have set the current death toll at more than 100,000 people.

Yesterday, the Assad regime said it would destroy its chemical weapons arsenal but warned that it would cost $1 billion and take about a year.

The long-awaited Geneva Two conference has been delayed as the Opposition in Syria has refused to attend unless Assad resigns.

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