In a picture released on January 20, 2014, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP at the presidential palace in Damascus on the weekend. The Syrian president told AFP in an exclusive interview, days before the beginning of the Geneva II peace talks, that he expected his country's bloody conflict to drag on, describing it as a 'fight against terrorism' and rejecting any distinction between opposition fighters and radical jihadists.  AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID  -- EDITORS NOTE: The Syrian presidency media office reviewed this series of pictures        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)