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Syrian President Bashar Assad's Regime Near Collapse

Martha Raddatz looks at the latest developments in Syria.
2:38 | 12/13/12

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Transcript for Syrian President Bashar Assad's Regime Near Collapse
And now, we go to syria. Tinderbox tonight as even allies of the ruling regime are sig nafling the end may be near for president assad. And the powerful head of nato is also signaling change is coming. Abc's senior foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz on the end game and what danger it poses for the united states. Reporter: It could all end soon here in damascus. With the startling word from nato and now even president assad's staunch ally russia that the brutal dictator's days are numbered. That's because while assad is still in control in the capital, rebels are moving closer. Now, just outside in the suburbs. Our bbc colleague jeremy bowen saw it first hand, in a neighborhood where assad's forces have tried to stop the rebel advance, pounding the buildings and homes with air strikes and artillery. The battle is bloody. At the regimes military hospital, there are said to be 40 wounded, treated a day. While the rebels, like this fighter who lost both feet, received treatment, from a dentist. Their hospital, bombed. The rebels have shown that they have the stomach for a fight, they've shown that they can endure pain and they have the conviction that if they don't fight on, they'll be killed. Reporter: Bowen met some 200 of their recruits, training at an army base they said they capture captured. What do you think will happen to assad? Killed, must be killed. Reporter: But who exactly are these rebels? The fighter says his group is not affiliated with al qaeda. But we know other rebels are including a wing of al qaeda that has attacked u.S. Soldiers in iraq. And within the rebel ranks, there are dozens of competing groups with different, sometimes murky goals. We don't really have a good sense, to the extend that external organizations are in there and in some extremist form. The worry is both the retribution afterwards and the potential of access to chemical weapons. Reporter: A threat to america and the world. And a threat to the people of syria, longing to be free of violence. Officials I have spoken to fear this could be a long and bloody conflict, even if assad falls. Although some still hold out hope to a political solution can be found, if assad finally realizes his days are numbered, diane. All right, on the story for us, martha raddatz. Thank you, martha.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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