- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Syrian President Bashar Assad sees another term in his future. Despite the deaths of thousands, and an ongoing — at times, escalating — military conflict that has pit Mr. Assad’s regime against various rebelling factions, the beleaguered president says he may run for re-election in 2014.

“There is talk that I should step down or announce I will not run for re-election. I won’t do that and will reserve my right to push my candidacy,” he said, according to statements published in Ynet News about his recent meeting with Jordanian officials in Damascus. “If I decide not to, I will nevertheless stay in Damascus. I have family, friends and country.”

Mr. Assad suggested that if he decides not to seek re-election, he will resume a peaceful life as an ophthalmologist, Ynet reported.


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“I will serve my country and continue to work at my clinic even if I am not president,” he said in the Ynet report.

At the meeting, Mr. Assad also reiterated his belief that the conflicts in Syria are not due to Islamist dissatisfaction with the governing party. But rather, the uprising is targeted toward “the Zionists and the United States,” he said, according to Ynet.