AP Top News at 12:00 p.m. EST

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? Despite the Obama administration’s predictions that the Syrian government’s days are numbered, recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest President Bashar Assad commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and an elite class that still supports his rule. The assessment hinted at a continuing campaign lasting several months, if not longer, with more Syrians dying. For the past year, Assad’s government has tried to crush a popular uprising inspired by the Arab Spring movements. The U.N. says more than 7,500 people have died.

Syria forces in new assault amid diplomacy efforts