John Kerry

Kerry: Assad Has Improved His Position But is Not Winning

Describes the situation in Syria as a "stalemate"

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Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State John Kerry made a rare admission that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has gained ground.

"It's fair to say that Assad has improved his position a little bit, yes," Kerry said in an exclusive interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper. "But he's still not winning. This is a stalemate."

But a stalemate means the status quo continues, which means Assad remains in power, continues killing innocent civilians, and maintains control of his military.

But Kerry denied that Obama administration's the policy is failing.

"I don't want to make any excuse whatsoever. We want this to move faster. We want it to do better," said Kerry. "But the point I'm making is that diplomacy is tough, slogging, slow work and hard work. But we're beginning to see the shaping of how you might potentially get somewhere."