For a couple days now I listened to reports that the Syria situation is critical and that the Syrian government is on the verge of collapse. Do you think anyone has told Assad yet? That story line is getting a bit old. Haven’t we seen this movie before and don’t we know how it ends? How long did we hear the same thing about Libya? In fact, I think this is the most overused script I’ve heard.
They also say this means that his allies are really concerned. Those would be Iran and Russia for starters. Oh really? Golly gee! I’m glad we know they are concerned. Something tells me if Assad and his regime go down that a replacement will surface fast and furiously. In fact, I’ll bet they have an alternative picked out already.
But we’ll keep hearing this little narrative playing out….that is until the new one emerges or cannot be concealed any longer. I’ll also bet when it does, surprise, the new narrative won’t sound any better than the old narrative.
MOSCOW — The outlook for Syria’s embattled president darkened considerably on Thursday when his most powerful foreign ally, Russia, acknowledged that he was losing the struggle against an increasingly coordinated insurgency and for the first time said it was making contingency plans to evacuate its citizens from the country, the Kremlin’s last beachhead in the Middle East.
The Russian assessment, made publicly by a top Foreign Ministry official in Moscow, appeared to signal a major turn in the diplomacy of the nearly two-year-old conflict and presented new evidence that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, was losing politically as well as militarily. On Wednesday it was revealed that Mr. Assad’s forces had resorted to firing Scud ballistic missiles at rebels in an attempt to slow the insurgency’s momentum.
The assessment suggested that Russia no longer viewed Mr. Assad’s involvement in a negotiated solution as a viable alternative. It also appeared to reflect a new recognition in Moscow that Mr. Assad and his minority Alawite government, long a Russian client, could not survive in the face of a well-armed opposition financed by Arab and Western countries seeking his ouster. Some Russian officials have bitterly concluded that Mr. Assad’s foreign adversaries want an outcome decided by military force.
Further punctuating the Russian assessment was a dark view offered by the secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who told reporters in Brussels that “I think the regime in Damascus is approaching collapse. I think now it is only a question of time.”