Report: Deserters Have Killed 80 Syria Military Personnel

Syrian President Bashar Assad tells former Lebanese PM that revolt is fading and that situation will return to normal in a few weeks.

Reports in Syria claim that the Free Syria Army - made up of Syrian military deserters - has killed no fewer than 80 Syrian soldiers and mercenaries hired by the Assad regime.

One of the reports said that the members of Free Syria Army, armed with light weapons, have been conducting ambushes against Syrian military forces as they enter cities and neighborhoods.

Assad - AP file photo - released 31.7.11

On Thursday morning, there was a report of 17 people killed in Rastan in the Homs region of central Syria.

On Wednesday, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with former Lebanese prime minister Salim El-Hoss and told him that the revolt in Syria is fading and that most cities are under the full control of the Syrian military.

"It will be a matter of weeks before we get the situation back to normal," Assad was reported to have said.

Arab media reports indicate that the Assad regime was encouraged by the failure of the European effort to get the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the Assad regime and its leaders after Russia threatened a veto.

Russia and Western powers on the Security Council voiced hope on Wednesday that they would soon have a resolution on Syria that calls for an end to violence without demanding immediate sanctions.

According to UN estimates, 2,700 people have been killed in Syria during the six-month uprising against the Assad regime.