'Syria bomb will speed end of conflict'

By REUTERS
July 18, 2012 21:25

"This is the final phase. They will fall very soon," Abdelbasset Seida of Syria Free Army says after bomb on Assad inner circle.

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Free Syrian Army fighters train in Homs outskirts

Free Syrian Army 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

DOHA - A suicide bombing that killed three of Syrian President Bashar Assad's top military officials on Wednesday will speed the end of the uprising against him, the head of the opposition Syrian National Council said on Wednesday.

"This is the final phase. They will fall very soon," Abdelbasset Seida told Reuters in an interview in the Qatari capital Doha. "Today is a turning point in Syria's history. It will put more pressure on the regime and bring an end very soon, a matter of weeks or months."

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The bomb killed Assad's powerful brother-in-law, the defense minister and a top general, bringing the battle to the heart of Assad's power-base and sparking fighting across Damascus.

"The regime is very weak at the moment. They are confused. This is the final phase. They will fall very soon. If you look at the economic situation, it is a matter of months until they will not be able to pay salaries," said Seida.

Seida said he did not share fears among some Western leaders that Assad's fall would enflame sectarian conflict in the country and destabilize Syria's neighbors - Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.

"We've been preparing for the end of the Assad regime for a long time. Our aim is to reach that phase with minimal losses. We have plans on the economic, administrative and social levels, and we are certain we can do it," he said.


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