Report: West Ignored Russian Offer to Have Assad Step Down in 2012 - World - Haaretz

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday strongly defended Moscow's military assistance to the Syrian government, saying it's impossible to defeat the Islamic State group without cooperating with Damascus.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that Russia supposedly proposed President Bashar Assad step down in 2012 as part of a larger Syrian peace deal, but was ignored by the West that thought opposition forces would oust the embattled dictator first. The report quoted a senior negotiator involved in the process at the time.