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Assad suffering from personality disorder: psychologist

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Despite having lost major parts of the country to opposition fighters, and although his regime continues to disintegrate with more defections taking place, embattled President Bashar al-Assad insists he is in control and will come out of the crisis victorious.

Western leaders have said Assad has lost touch with reality because when the man speaks he appears self-assured, talking about reforms when most of his people want him toppled, if not hanged.

Jamal Tuwairqi, a psychologist, said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV, “Bashar al-Assad is a man suffering from psychological disorder or what we call narcissistic personality.”

“He is condescending people and sees himself as the most important,” Tuwairqi added.

The Saudi psychologist said Assad appeared in his last speech, and after months of bloodshed and continued destruction, that he lost touch with reality and that is what happens in people with narcissistic personality disorder.

In his Jan. 6 speech Assad unveiled “a peace plan” that includes talks with the some members of the opposition. Other he said are agents of foreign powers who could not be included in any negotiations: "We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West.”

The opposition has consistently said it will not cease fire until the army does, and will not negotiate any transitional government unless Assad is excluded.

Assad also repeatedly emphasized rebel links to al-Qaeda and Islamist radicals. Washington, which supports the opposition, has also labeled one of the main rebel groups terrorists and says it is linked to the network founded by Osama bin Laden.

Diplomacy has been largely irrelevant so far in the conflict, with the United States, European powers, Arab states and Turkey all demanding Assad leave power, while Russia and Iran refuse to exclude him from talks on a future government.