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Russia backtracks on statement about Assad’s fall


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Asked if Beijing also foresees Assad’s demise and whether it plans to evacuate its citizens in Syria, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it would take unspecified steps to protect Chinese nationals and appealed anew for a cease-fire and for a negotiated political transition.

"China is deeply worried about the continuing violent conflict in Syria and always believes that a diplomatic settlement to the Syrian issue is the only way out and also serves the shared interest of the international community," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily media briefing.

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On Friday, the Pentagon announced it will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attacks.




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