A second U.S. diplomat noted that, unlike Libya, Syria has no rebel-held cities and few high-ranking army defections. “The opposition is not going be able to overthrow the government by force,” he said. “This is not a repeat of Libya.”
On Tuesday, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency claimed that Mr. Assad, during a meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had threatened a regional war in the event of Western military intervention.
But a senior Turkish official told The Times that the Iranian news report was “completely untrue.”
• Ben Birnbaum contributed to this report.