(NEW YORK) -- Two allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad believe the worst is over for the embattled leader following three years of civil war that activists say has killed at least 150,000 people. Former Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin said that following recent talks with Assad, the Syrian leader is confident that his military's day-to-day battles will be over by the end of 2014.
At that point, Assad said the government will shift its primary concern to "fighting terrorists," the label Damascus has given all forces in Syria seeking Assad's ouster.
Meanwhile, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, says it's his opinion that "The danger of the Syrian regime's fall has ended."
Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters into Syria to assist Assad's military in their fight against Syrian rebels, al Qaeda militants and other mercenaries.
Nasrallah's support of Assad has inflamed tensions within his own country as Sunni Muslims who sympathize with the Syrian resistance have attacked Shiites in Lebanese neighborhoods.
The Hezbollah leader considers these reports overblown, claiming there is very little sectarian warfare in Lebanon.
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