Syria's opposition must accept that they have not won the six-and-a-half year war against President Bashar al-Assad, U.N. peace talks mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Wednesday.
De Mistura suggested the war was almost over because many countries had got involved principally to defeat Islamic State in Syria, and a national ceasefire should follow soon after.
The two main IS forces - in the city of Raqqa and around the city of Deir al-Zor - were facing imminent defeat, which would lead to "the moment of truth", he said.
"The fact is that Deir al-Zor is almost liberated, in fact it is as far as we are concerned liberated, it's a matter now of a few hours."
Raqqa's fall would follow within days or weeks, leading to the time to negotiate.
"The issue is: is the government, after the liberation of Deir al-Zor and Raqqa, ready and prepared to genuinely negotiate and not simply announce victory, which we all know, and they know too, cannot be announced because it won't be sustainable without a political process?
"Will the opposition be able to be unified and realistic enough to realize they did not win the war?"
Source: National News Agency