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German intelligence: Assad strengthening hold amid conflict

Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has become more stable, gaining an upper hand in capabilities to successfully thwart rebel forces in the conflict plaguing the country, Germany's foreign intelligence agency assessments were reported as stating by German weekly Der Speigel on Wednesday .
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) reportedly informed select politicians in a secret meeting of the agency's new view of the situation in Syria contradicting previous assessment from last summer that Assad would fall by early 2013.
According to the BND, Assad forces could take back southern Syria by the end of the year if the conflict continues as it has in recent weeks, Der Speigel cited Schindler as saying.
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