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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Coup ahead in Damascus?

Could Bashar al-Assad be on his way out? That's the argument made here and it sounds like a pretty solid one except for one small catch: The Syrian army may not be strong enough to do the trick.
Tehran’s regional ambitions culminated with the recent visit to Beirut by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but were viewed with growing concern, not only by the Sunni Arab world, led by Saudi Arabia, but also, alas silently, by the Sunni majority in Syria, who is watching in awe, the demise of Damascus’s traditional protectorate on Lebanese politics, shrewdly being taken over by Shiites, as result of the Alawite Bashar Assad’s shortsighted and, for Syrian interest, disastrous misconduct since 2005.

There are already first indications of growing discontent among senior Syrian officials, mainly belonging to Sunni sects. Feelings of suspicion and discomfort are apparently developing among the Syrian military and intelligence officers, watching with concern as Lebanon, once their exclusive playing ground is being dominated ostentatiously by Tehran’s brutal ‘Al Quds’ Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

The Bashar Assad Alawite-Ba’ath minority regime is strong and bolstered by Iran. But it remains a minority, ruled by force on a growing dissatisfaction within the Sunni majority and especially the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood, opposing the Ba’ath domination. Two issues, one religious and the other, national economic, could impose a change, if the Bashar regime continues its present trend: Tightening the Iranian sponsored Shi’ite alliance and its domination in Lebanese politics, denying Syria its traditional influence there and even the threat of Syria becoming a Shi’ite vassal of Tehran within the Sh’ite crescent spanning from Iran, via Iraq to Lebanon, with Syria being the key to the whole.

This move, if implemented could raise considerable disconcert among the Sunni community, not only in Syria, but in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and challenge the ongoing alliance between Islamic, but mainly Sunni Turkey with Tehran. Could such a trend eventually force a Sunni-backed regime change in Syria? Much will depend on Tehran’s ambitions in Lebanon and the Sunni Gulf states, but first and foremost on US Mid Eastern strategy – If America will continue to act indecisively and appear weak, the Shi’ite domination trend will continue, gain more power and weaken the traditional Sunni hegemony, a dangerous trend which can have serious consequences for the West and foremost Europe, in which the Muslim population is constantly growing, soon becoming a challenging political and dangerous security factor.
Read the whole thing.

What's clear to me is that this is not the time to be making a deal with Assad over the Golan (if there is ever such a time) and that if we go to war in Lebanon with Hezbullah, going into Syria at the same time could bring about the end of the Assad regime.


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At 8:42 PM, Blogger Michael Scharf said...

You're right, the time for negotiations with the Syrians has come and gone (a long time ago). Perhaps it will come again, but I doubt it will come anytime soon.

The Golan should be annexed and made part of Israel on a more permanent basis. No more abandoning Israeli Arabs (who want to remain Israeli) or Jews.

At 3:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Alawites are not prepared to relinquish power. They have Iran's backing and can always play the anti-Israel card to secure themselves in Damascus. I wouldn't expect a coup to happen against Sonny Assad any time soon in the foreseeable future.


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