With insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of his power, state media said in a statement that Assad would speak on Sunday morning about the “latest developments in Syria and the region”, without giving details.
It will be the 47-year-old leader’s first speech in months and his first public comments since he dismissed suggestions that he might go into exile to end the civil war, telling Russian television in November that he would “live and die” in Syria.
Insurgents are venturing ever closer into Damascus after bringing a crescent of suburbs under their control… >continue<
Jonathan Landis | Syria Comment »
In 2005, a friend who was close to the regime told me that Assad and those around him were convinced that they could defeat President Bush’s attempts to change the regime in Syria. They said:
"Bush thinks he can use Iraq against us. But Iraq is not a nation. We will help turn its factions against the US. It will turn into a swamp and suck the US in. This is what we did to Israel and the US in Lebanon in the 1980s."
Today, Assad will treat Syria as he did Lebanon and Iraq earlier. He will gamble that it is not a nation and will work to tear it apart. Already he has withdrawn from the Kurdish parts of Syria. Friends in Aleppo tell me that Assad is arming the Kurds there. He will arm the Arab tribes in the hope that they will resist central control…
In order to survive, Assad and his Alawite generals will struggle to turn Syria into Lebanon – a fractured nation, where no one community can rule. >continue<