The Syrian leader, Bashar al Assad, is reported to have called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Syrian Civil War as his forces and the rebels appear to be at a stalemate.
According to Sky News, Qadri Jamil, Syria’s Deputy Prime minister, told The Guardian on Thursday that neither side was strong enough to win the two year conflict. He also said his comments in the interview represent those of the Syrian administration.
“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.”
He said further that the Syrian economy had suffered a loss of about $100bn since the war started and more than 100,000 lives have been lost.
According to Mr. Jamil, the ceasefire would be called for at a peace conference to be held in Geneva.
The much anticipated peace conference has not taken place because the Syrian leader would not yield to the rebels’ condition that he should resign before they would agree to hold a press conference.
Mr Jamil’s comment are coming on the heels of US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s comment that “it is a fact” President Assad was responsible for the chemical attack in Damascus in August.
According to Kerry, a UN report was “unequivocal” in its conclusion that the sarin gas attack bore the trace of the regime.
Last week Russia and the US fleshed out a deal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons, which the US, the UK and France now want encoded in a United Nations resolution.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed doubts as to whether Syria will carry out its commitments to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles.
“Will we be able to accomplish it all? I cannot be 100% sure about it,” he told a news conference.
“But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen … I hope so.”
Mr Putin, who has been Mr Assad’s staunchest ally, said he had strong grounds to believe the chemical attack outside Damascus on August 21, which is believed to have killed 1,400 people, was staged by opponents of the Syrian government.