Friday, June 3, 2011

IDF sources: Assad regime will eventually succumb to Syria protests

The regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad will not survive and will eventually collapse under the pressure of demonstrations in his country. This is the assessment of Israel's military establishment - and this view is gaining strength.

A senior security source told Haaretz this week that "Assad is becoming weaker. It may take a few months, or a year or more, but the regime will probably fail to recover. Forty years of rule by the Assad family are on their way to coming to an end."
Palestinians breaking through the Syrian border near Majdal Shams two weeks ago. Israel is working to avoid a similar scenario on Sunday, the anniversary of the end of the Six Day War.
Photo by: Yaron Kaminsky

"Assad has lost his legitimacy in the eyes of his people and therefore his fate is sealed. Every week of demonstrations and deaths only makes things more difficult for him. His dilemma is between further concessions to the demonstrators - which will be seen as weakness and will lead to an intensification of efforts to bring him down - and the adoption of more aggressive means of suppressing the demonstrations, which may accelerate his fall. I do not think he has a chance against the opposition. This is the twilight of his rule," the senior defense source said.

Human rights groups reported recently that the number of demonstrators killed by security forces during the past two and a half months of demonstrations in Syria is higher than 1,200. Thousands have been injured and many more arrested.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz confirmed the data earlier this week during a briefing to the members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "Assad himself does not know how Syria will look at the end of this week or the next. The uncertainty is troubling him, as it is troubling us," Gantz said.

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