OSLO - Awarding this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the head of the selection panel forecast that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would succumb to a "wind of history" blowing through the Arab world and be forced to accept democratic change.
Presenting the prize in Oslo to three women who include a Yemeni activist whose Arab spring protests helped undermine her country's veteran leader, Thorbjoern Jagland said: "No dictator can in the long run find shelter from this wind of history.
"It was this wind which led people to crawl up onto the Berlin Wall and tear it down. It is the wind that is now blowing in the Arab world."
Referring to 2011 Nobel laureate Tawakul Karman's efforts to unseat Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the bloody uprising in Syria, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said: "Not even President Saleh was able, and President Assad in Syria will not be able, to resist the people's demand for freedom and human rights."