Barak speech serious 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )
Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of force against his own people is precipitating his downfall, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, adding that Israel should not fear change in Damascus.
"I believe Assad is approaching the moment in which he will lose his authority. The growing brutality is pushing him into a corner, the more people are killed, the less chance Assad has to come out of it," Barak told Israeli Channel 10 television.
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"I don't think Israel should be alarmed by the possibility of Assad being replaced. The process taking place in the Middle East holds great promise and inspiration in the long term for our children and grandchildren," he said on Monday night.
Officials have previously kept quiet about the uprising in Syria and local media had reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had told ministers not to discuss the matter in public to avoid accusations of interference.
Human rights groups say at least 560 civilians have been killed by
Assad's security forces since an uprising in the southern city of Deraa
erupted on March 18.
The Syrian government, condemned by the West for its repression of the
unrest, has blamed the violence on "armed terrorist groups". The country
of 20 million people has been under authoritarian Baath Party rule
Barak said change across the Middle East was ending autocratic regimes
but would take time to produce stable democracies. "In the short term
no-one is expecting Western democracies to emerge here," he said.
Barak said that even if Assad ordered troops to stop using force to
quell the demonstrations it was probably too late for him to cling to
power for an extended period.
"If he stops killing people I can't see faith being restored in him. I
don't know if he will end his role in a month or two months, he may
recover but I don't think he will be the same and I think his fate is
going in the same direction as that of other Arab leaders," Barak said.