Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Only Iran left for al-Assad | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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During the early days of the revolution, Bashar al-Assad told an Arab official visiting Syria that he was well aware that whoever is in power in Damascus cannot have close ties to Iran but weak ties to the Arab region, and this is why he only met with Iranian officials rarely. However today, nearly 16 months following the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, we find al-Assad conducting a long interview with Iranian state television!

This means that al-Assad has begun to be embarrassed by his position, as well as that of his regime, particularly as his interview with Iranian state television takes place at a time when the international community is conducting intense debate regarding the transfer of power in Syria. Whether this succeeds or fails, what is most important is that this talk did not include the possibility of granting al-Assad another chance, but rather how to get rid of him. Al-Assad’s interview with Iranian state television also came at a time when there has been a noticeable development in the nature of the operations being conducted by the Free Syrian Army [FSA], whether we are talking about the arrest of two senior Syrian officers or the type of attacks being carried out on al-Assad regime forces. This is not to mention the escalation in the rate of military defections from the tyrant of Damascus’s forces, including defections at the highest ranks. Al-Assad’s statements to Iranian state television also comes at a time when Turkish forces are being deployed to the Syrian border. Therefore, all of this means that the tyrant of Damascus is well aware that Iran represents his last and only refuge, and that nobody else is supporting him now, including the people of Syria themselves. Al-Assad did not address his statements to the people of Syria, via his own official media, or to the Arab public via the Arab media, or even the West via the western media; instead he utilized Iranian state media!

Al-Assad’s statements are not just evidence that he is aware of the dangerous situation that he finds himself in today, but also evidence that he remains as arrogant as ever, and will use the methods of yesterday to resolve today’s crisis. He spoke about what is happening in Syria as if he were talking about managing a crisis in Lebanon, as if we were still living in the past! Al-Assad said, for example, that not all of the Turkish government opposes him, and this is precisely what he would always say about Saudi Arabia with regards to the situation in Lebanon. He would divide Saudi Arabia into different wings and camps, and this means that he has failed to learn any lesson from the revolution taking place in Syria!

In fact, the reality in Syria today reveals that even if al-Assad continues to pursue a policy of procrastination and stalling, he is now truly aware of the seriousness of the situation that he finds himself in, and is therefore rushing to the Iranians. This comes at the same time that a large number of al-Assad regime officers are viewing the Turkish military action – not to mention the international community’s talk about the transfer of power in Damascus and the development in the operations of the FSA – as an indication of the approaching collapse of the al-Assad regime. This is also accelerating the rate of military defections. This confirms what we previously stated, and what has also been stressed by others, namely that the imposition of buffer zones or humanitarian corridors along the Turkish – Syrian border or Jordanian –Syrian border would greatly hasten the collapse of the regime of the tyrant of Damascus. This is very possible; indeed the FSA is working to establish such buffer zones on a daily basis, particularly as al-Assad’s control over Syrian territory is crumbling, as evidenced by Burhan Ghalioun appearing inside Syrian territory. The FSA also has complete freedom of movement across much of Syria. Most importantly of all, al-Assad is now resorting to the Iranians publicly, as only Tehran is standing with him now.