- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2013

Syria President Bashar Assad may be at the heart of two-plus years of violent protests with rebel forces in his country, but that doesn’t mean he’s dampened his political aspirations. The beleaguered leader said he’s mulling another run at the high office.

It’s too early to tell, he said, The Associated Press reported. In a few months, the “picture will be clearer,” and he’ll have a decision on a re-election run. Mr. Assad also said that Syria was undergoing “rapid” changes, and in four or five months, he would be better equipped to gauge the political winds.

Mr. Assad has been president in Syria since 2000. His term — his second — finishes in mid-2014.

Rebel fighters in the nation would like him to step down now and hand over government control to a transitional leadership, until the elections. Mr. Assad says he’s still quite popular with segments in Syria, including Christians and Alawites, who are part of the Shiite Islam group.



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