Syria's vice president is calling for a "historic settlement" of the country's civil war and the creation of a national unity government, according to an interview with a Lebanese newspaper to be published Monday.
"The solution has to be Syrian, but through a historic settlement, which would include the main regional countries, and the members of the U.N. Security Council," newspaper al-Akhbar quoted Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa as saying in excerpts released Sunday.
Al-Sharaa, who also once acted as Syria's foreign minister, noted that neither the rebels nor government has the military ability to reach what he called "a conclusive end."
"This settlement must include stopping all shapes of violence, and the creation of a national unity government with wide powers," he said.
Al-Sharaa, a Sunni Muslim in a government dominated by the country's Alawite minority, was rumored to have defected to Jordan in August, but he later resurfaced in Damascus.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkish media then that al-Sharaa is not to blame for the mass bloodshed in the country.
"Farouq al-Sharaa, with a reasonable and conscientious approach, was not a part of recent events and did not partake in the massacres. And perhaps there is no one that knows the system better than Farouq al-Sharaa," Davutoglu said, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Al-Sharaa has clout as a prominent member of the government's old guard, serving as foreign minister under President Bashar al-Assad and his late father, Hafez, for more than 20 years.
Turkish state media said in October that some Syrian rebels were open to the idea of al-Sharaa leading an interim government. But rebel leaders have not indicated to CNN that they support that idea.
Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes bombarded a densely populated Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus on Sunday amid clashes there, opposition activists said.
Airstrikes hammered the Yarmouk camp in the southern part of the capital, opposition activists said.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said warplanes shelled a school and a mosque, and reported at least 15 deaths.
The air assault comes with fighting over the past 48 hours between rebels and a pro-government Palestinian militia, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Palestinian faction is led by Ahmad Jibril, a longtime leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, one activist and news outlets are reporting.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged combatants in Syria "to spare our camps and our people in Syria" and not draw the Palestinians into the civil war. He also called on the world community "to take immediate action" to protect Palestinians in Syria.
Rebels and the government have gained and sought support from Palestinians in Syria.
"We are very worriedly following the situation," Abbas said, according to the WAFA news outlet. "This must be stopped immediately."
Many displaced Palestinians have been living for decades in Yarmouk, a nearly square-mile district inside Damascus about five miles from the center of the city.
Formed in 1957, the urban enclave is the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria, with more than 148,500 registered refugees, the United Nations said.
Refugees in Yarmouk appear to have been well-integrated into Syrian society, working as doctors, engineers, civil servants, laborers and street vendors.