BY MICHAEL YOUNG, THE DAILY STAR, LEBANON
President Bashar Assad’s regime is beginning to crumble despite assistance from Iran and its allies. However, such a prospect did not prevent the recent liquidation of Rustom Ghazaleh, once the head of Syria’s military intelligence network in Lebanon.
Assad is well-entrenched in Damascus and Iran will invest what it takes to ensure that he doesn’t fall.
Even Hezbollah, whose men are dying to ensure that Assad stays, has nothing but contempt for the Syrian army.
As the Special Tribunal for Lebanon refocuses on Syria’s role in the assassination of Lebanon’s former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, it may be that the regime feared that Ghazaleh might be called in as a witness.
Ghazaleh’s death helped propagate the image of a regime that is devouring its own. Most people assume Assad has become a puppet in the hands of Iran.
As far back as 2011 Syria’s Christians were warned that wagering on Assad would only bring disaster. Even Lebanon’s Christians, represented by that great moral paragon, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, endorsed Assad on his foreign visits.
Bashar Assad’s regime is on life support. Someone needs to pull the plug, preferably Assad’s friends, while a negotiated transition in Syria is still vaguely possible.
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