Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) meets with Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. Mr. Assad told Mr. Maurer that the Red Cross is welcome to operate on the ground in the country as long as it remains "neutral and independent," the SANA state news agency reported. (AP Photo/SANA)

Photo by: HOPD

Syrian President Bashar Assad (left) meets with Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. Mr. Assad told Mr. Maurer that the Red Cross is welcome to operate on the ground in the country as long as it remains "neutral and independent," the SANA state news agency reported. (AP Photo/SANA)