End drawing close for Syria’s Assad
Posted on December 09, 2012 by Akashma Online News
While news from Berlin seem catastrophic for Syria, other news are coming from Russia indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad is good to stay. While Russia holds the political and economical power in Europe and Asia there is not much the US/Israel alliance can do to bring Syria Government down.
According to “A German Spy”, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is its final stages and will be unable to survive as more parts of the country slip from his control, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) said.
“Armed rebels are coordinating better, which is making their fight against Assad more effective,” Gerhard Schindler told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung newspaper, in an interview made public on Saturday.
“Assad’s regime will not survive.”
Rebels fighting to topple Assad declared Damascus International Airport a battle zone on Friday, while Moscow and Washington both sounded downbeat about the prospects of a diplomatic push to end the conflict after talks.
Syrian rebel commanders have elected a new 30-member leadership council and a chief of staff, a senior rebel said Saturday in a major step toward unifying the opposition that is fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. The Supreme Military Council, which was chosen Friday during a meeting in Turkey, will work with the political leadership that was chosen last month in Qatar.
Fighting around the capital city has intensified over the past week, and Western officials have begun speaking about faster change on the ground in a 20-month-old conflict that has killed 40,000 people.
“Evidence is mounting that the regime in Damascus is now in its final phase,” Schindler said.
Although neither Assad nor the rebels had been able to take the upper hand, Assad was losing control of more and more parts of the country, and was focusing his energy on defending Damascus, key military sites and airports, Schindler added.
Schindler’s comments echoed remarks made yesterday by U.S. ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who was withdrawn last year.
Russian and U.S. diplomats are meeting Sunday with U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for more talks on the civil war in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that the Americans were wrong to see Moscow as softening its position.
Russia agreed to take part in the talks in Geneva, he said, on the condition there would be no demand for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.
“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov said Sunday. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”
Lavrov met last week with Brahimi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Dublin. Afterward, Clinton said the United States and Russia were committed to trying again to get both sides in the Syrian conflict to talk about a political transition. Clinton stressed that the U.S. would continue to insist that Assad’s departure be a key part of that transition.
Russia and the United States have argued bitterly over how to address the conflict, which began with peaceful protests against Assad in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war. The U.S. has criticized Russia for shielding its closest ally in the Middle East, while Moscow has accused Washington of encouraging the rebels and being intent on regime change.
Russia’s foreign minister said Sunday that after he agreed to a U.S. proposal to have his and Clinton’s deputies “brainstorm” on Syria, the Americans began to suggest that Russia was softening its position.
“No such thing,” Lavrov said. “We have not changed our position.”
Germany weighed in Sunday on the future of Assad’s regime, with Federal Intelligence Service chief Gerhard Schindler saying it would not survive, although it was impossible to say how long it would hang on.
“Signs are increasing that the regime in Damascus is in its final phase,” he was quoted as telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
While Russia and Washington blame each other for the no resolution of Syria conflict, Syria is being destroyed. Whole cities are but a shadow of what they were just last year.
Total Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration
The total number of registered refugees and individuals awaiting registration is 490,104 as of 5 December. This includes 11,740 Syrians registered with UNHCR in North Africa.
Damascus has it history to keep the hopes alive for centuries to come.
“No recorded event has occurred in the world but Damascus was in existence to receive the news of it,” wrote Mark Twain after visiting Syria’s capital — known colloquially as al-Sham — in the 1860s. “She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires, and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.”
Over the centuries, Damascus has been conquered by a string of foreign invaders that extends from King David of Israel — chronicled in the Old Testament — straight through to the French, who occupied the city until 1945. In between, Damascus fell to a list of conquerors that includes the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Umayyads, Egyptian Mamluks, and Ottoman Turks. But now, roiled by the Arab Spring, the invasions are internal, with Syrian tanks and troops rolling into restive cities.
After the Umayyad conquest of Damascus in the seventh century, the Umayyad Mosque (seen above, circa 1900) was constructed on the site where a Byzantine church, a Roman temple, and before that an Aramean temple to the god of thunder and rain once stood.
Geir Moulson contributed from Berlin.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; editing by Jason Webb)