Barak: Assad may not be in power for long

For first time cracks are appearing in support Syrian president enjoys within his own arena, defense minister tells Security Forum in Canada; 14 killed in crackdown on protesters, activists say.

By REUTERS
November 19, 2011 23:12
1 minute read.
pro-Assad demonstration, Syria

pro-Assad demonstration, Syria_311. (photo credit: Reuters )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - Israel sees cracks in Syrian power structures amid increasingly violent unrest, and there are signs President Bashar Assad may not be in power for long, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Saturday.

Fourteen civilians were killed in a crackdown on dissent against Assad's rule on Saturday, activists said. The United Nations says at least 3,500 people have died since March.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Arab League gives Syria 3 days to stop bloodshed

Death toll rises in Syria despite deadline

Barak said members of Syria's security services, the armed forces and the civil service were starting to assess Assad's future and were working out how to hedge their bets.

"As a result of it, I believe that we see for the first time, some cracks appearing in the support that he enjoys within his own arena," he told the Halifax Security Forum in Atlantic Canada.

Assad has come under growing international pressure to end the crackdown. Syrian authorities blame the violence on foreign-backed armed groups which they say have killed some 1,100 soldiers and police.

Barak said it was significant that King Abdullah of Jordan has called on Assad to step down and that the Arab League suspended Syria this month.

"That is a real signal that there is acceleration toward the end of this regime," he said.



Barak said the Assad family had reigned over Syrians for 40 years "like a medieval fiefdom in Italy somewhere on the mountains. It's an iron fist."

Asked about Assad's possible downfall and Syria's links to Hezbollah, Barak said: "It will damage these radical axes and they will make them somehow weaker. It will weaken Hezbollah, it will weaken Hamas."

"In this regard, it's good, but it's not just for Israel, but I believe it's good for the Middle East as a whole,"  he added.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN