"... Assad’s ability to continue the crackdown in the face of sanctions and international condemnation has led Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies to revise their assessments for how long his regime can survive.... The gloomier assessments are predicated on the belief that the country’s fragmented opposition will have no significant outside help, other than money, emergency aid and perhaps light weapons from Arab neighbors.
A more confident AssadIn interviews, intelligence officials from two neighboring Muslim countries said they saw a more confident Assad consolidating his recent military wins and preparing to dig in, fully expecting that he can outlast both the rebels and his international opponents.“Our view now is that Assad will survive 2012 unless there’s a big surprise,” said one of the officials, who agreed to discuss his country’s intelligence assessments on the condition that neither his name nor country be revealed. “He has cleaned up Homs and Hama. Damascus is quiet. The Druze and Christians haven’t turned against him. Even the flow of refugees we’re seeing confirms that he is succeeding.”A second official described Assad as “more confident because he feels he is in control.”The security forces and elite military units have remained loyal to Assad so far, faithfully snuffing out pockets of resistance, the official said..."
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 11:23 AM