President Bashar al-Assad conducted an interview with a pro-regime television station where he said the situation in Syria is “now better,” but he needs more time to “win the battle” . . . Assad said the military operation is “the cleansing of the nation” and said a no-fly zone is not possible . . . Iran proposed a three-month cease-fire for Syria at the Nonaligned Movement’s conference and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Tehran to discuss the Syrian situation . . . meanwhile, residents of Daraya, where activists say government loyalists massacred 400 people, blame rebels rather than Assad supporters for the killings . . . Bassma Qodmani, an Syrian National Council leader, resigned yesterday, saying the SNC has failed to protect the population from “horrific massacres” . . . fighting continues in and around Damascus, with the Free Syrian Army claiming to have destroyed several helicopters . . . the state news agency has accused rebels of “slaughtering” residents of Zamalka, a Damascus suburb . . . even if Assad agrees to the three-month cease-fire proposed by Iran, he is unlikely to adhere to it . . . Assad has made numerous promises of cease fires and negotiations, but failed to deliver . . . his statements and demeanor during the interview suggest Assad is still confident of a military victory . . . Assad is particularly unlikely to agree to negotiate if he believes he is gaining the upper hand in the military conflict . . . domestic support for the rebels appears to be slipping as they allegedly engage in military atrocities . . . the opposition leadership remains fragmented and disorganized . . . inaccurate public statements, human rights violations and an incoherent leadership by the opposition will continue to hamper international efforts to support them against Assad and will undercut their effectiveness against the regime.