Syria has denied a report that the Russian ambassador to France has said that President Bashar al-Assad is prepared to depart his country in a “civilized way.”

The information ministry in Damascus blasted the report as totally baseless and alleged that remarks attributed to Alexander Orlov during an interview with the International Radio France had been “altered.”

Meanwhile, fighting continues to escalate in Damascus, amidst rampant rumors that Assad’s wife Asma has already fled to Russia, while it remains unclear where the President is.