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French President Macron says Assad will remain in power in Syria

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French President Macron says Assad will remain in power in Syria
 French President Emmanuel Macron says the reality in Syria is that President Bashar al-Assad will continue to stay in power because his opponents have lost "the war on the ground."
President Assad's government has faced militancy since March 2011, when governments opposed to him armed and financed some of his domestic political foes in an attempt to have him forcefully removed from power. Those armed factions were soon joined by an array of international terrorists pouring into the country to help oust Assad.
But the government in Damascus persevered as different factions of the society rallied around Assad in the face of an all-out militancy. Syria's allies, Iran and Russia, also offered advisory military help, and Moscow launched an aerial bombardment campaign against extremist groups in the country in September 2015 on a request from the Syrian government.
Speaking in an interview with France 24 television on Sunday, French President Macron said Assad would be staying in power because Iran and Russia had "won the war on the ground."
    "Bashar al-Assad will be there. He will be there because he is protected by those who have won the war on the ground, whether it's Iran or Russia," Macron said.
A handout picture, released on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency on December 11, 2017, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd-R), and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad (2nd-L) inspecting a military parade in the Russian airbase in Hmeimim in the northwestern Syrian province of Latakia.
Paris is opposed to the Assad government and has hoped to see him removed. And while it has on several occasions indicated that its number-one priority in Syria is not regime change — a stance Macron repeated in the Sunday interview — it had until now avoided explicitly admitting the reality on the ground in Syria.
Macron nevertheless called Assad "an enemy of the Syrian people" who "will have to respond to his crimes before his people, before the international courts."