Away from the potential outcome of the UN Security Council meeting on the Syrian revolution, there are many reports and much evidence regarding the collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s rule, with many people considering this to be inevitable. The Americans are the latest to say so – on more than one level – and the White House now believes that the fall of al-Assad is certain, and that his forces are losing control of large parts of the country.
Observers may be surprised at the volume of information that has become available recently about scenes of clashes between the Free Syrian Army [FSA] and al-Assad’s forces around the capital Damascus, with some clashes even taking place close to the presidential palace. What a surprise it must have been for some when the “al-Arabiya” satellite channel yesterday showed a live broadcast of the blowing up of an oil pipeline in Homs, as well as extensive footage of fire-fights taking place in Baba Amro recorded with professional television cameras, which suggests that the al-Assad regime has lost control of large parts of Syria. We must note here that with Aleppo now entering the sphere of the revolution, it seems that almost half of Syria is now outside the control of al-Assad.
The statements issued by FSA commander Colonel Riad al-Asaad also support this information; al-Asaad told Agence France-Presse [AFP] yesterday that the morale of government troops is extremely low and “that’s why they are bombing indiscriminately, killing men, women and children”. The FSA commander also stressed that “fifty percent of Syrian territory is no longer under the control of the regime”.
We can add the statements issued by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to this. Speaking before a US Senate Intelligence Committee session, Clapper said “I do not see how he [al-Assad] can sustain his rule of Syria” adding “I personally believe it’s a question of time.”
Therefore, the information and statements above, in addition to the recent Kurdish move demanding international intervention in Syria to put an end to the massacres and violence being perpetrated by the al-Assad regime, as well as Iran’s most recent warning – issued by [Foreign Minister Ali Akbar] Salehi – of a “vacuum happen[ing] suddenly in Syria”, in addition to the clear escalation of violence on the part of the al-Assad regime, following in the footsteps of Gaddafi when he attacked Benghazi before the UN Security Council meeting at the time, tells us that the al-Assad regime is dying, and its collapse is to be expected. However, the question that we have long put forward and repeated is: what is the cost of the fall of al-Assad?
The answer, unfortunately, is that the cost of the fall of al-Assad will be great, and this will be a cost that is paid by the unarmed Syrian people, as long as there is no regional or international movement towards the imposition of buffer and no-fly zones, and explicit recognition of the Syrian National Council [SNC]. Only then will conditions be created to quickly bring the curtain down on the al-Assad regime. The most important thing today is to reduce the size of the losses in the Syrian ranks.
Some may ask: Is military intervention required? The answer is: Why shouldn’t there be military intervention in Syria? The international community didn’t just intervene in Libya, it also intervened in Yugoslavia, in the heart of Europe!