Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Preparing for the tyrant’s departure | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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If there is any realization regarding the course of events in Syria, it is the realization that everybody today is preparing for the period following the ouster of the tyrant of Damascus Bashar al-Assad. This is clear, whether we are talking about Hamas or the Kurds, or even certain figures in Lebanon. However the most important recent turn of events are the statements being issued from Iran; and it is clear that everybody is fleeing the ship, whilst even those who have not already done so are now making their preparations.

As for the Kurds, here we see Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani calling for the Syrian Kurds to renounce their differences and move away from narrow partisanship. Barzani called on the Syrian Kurds to unify their ranks if they want to guarantee support from the Kurdistan Region leadership. Barzani made this call during the “Kurdish Syrian Immigrants abroad” conference held in Erbil and attended by all 11 parties that make-up the Syrian Kurdish National Council.

Whilst Michel Aoun and Nabih Berri have remained silent in Lebanon…indeed, who even remembers Berri today? As for Hamas, we have seen the Palestinian movement’s leader Khalid Mishal, accompanied by Qatari Crown Prince [Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani], reaching Jordan following an absence of 12 years. It seems that the Qatari Crown Prince accompanied Mishal as a guarantor for his good behaviour over the coming days, particularly as Mishal is now living in hotels after he left Damascus in the wake of the anger of the al-Assad leadership, after he announced that he was prepared to mediate between al-Assad and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. At this point I must also note that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby had asked Mishal to pass on a message to al-Assad, and this is a message that Mishal failed to deliver, according to information revealed by this newspaper two weeks ago; therefore Mishal is also one of those who is fleeing the al-Assad ship.

As for Iran, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, speaking during a press conference on the sidelines of the African Union conference in Addis Ababa, said that the Syrians “have to have a free election, they have to have the right constitution, they have to allow different political parties to have their activities freely in the country” adding “Syria has to be given the choice of time.” However this is not the whole story, for Salehi also said – and this is the most important part – that “if any vacuum happens suddenly in Syria, nobody can anticipate the outcome…the consequences could be even worse because there may be internal wars, internal clashes between people.” This means that Salehi expects the end of the tyrant of Damascus, for he is speaking about this frankly, and this means that Tehran is preparing for the worst, in the same manner as Hamas, the Kurds, and others in Lebanon!

The importance of Salehi’s statements lies in the fact that he is one of the most familiar with what is truly going on in Syria, and he is no doubt aware that the battles that occurred on Sunday between the tyrant’s armed forces and the Free Syrian Army [FSA] took place just 8 km from the presidential palace in Damascus, and therefore the sound of the battle could be clearly heard in Bashar al-Assad’s palace. This is why Salehi has begun to talk frankly about a “vacuum happen[ing] suddenly in Syria”.

It is therefore clear that everybody is preparing for the post-Assad period, particularly his allies.