Contrary to Nasrallah’s claims, Syrian VP admits: Assad can’t win this war

After prolonged silence, Syrian VP Farouk Shara speaks to press: Only a historic resolution that includes the establishment of a broad gov’t comprised of all the country’s factions can solve the 21-month long civil war.

 

Syrian Vice President Farouk Shara has admitted that neither the Syrian Army nor the armed militia rebels are capable of achieving the high ground in the country’s civil war.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara. – Photo by AP

Shara said the only way to solve the 21-month long crisis is to reach a historic solution, in which neighbording countries and the United Nations Security Council take part. Shara, who has been silent since the crisis began – and about whom there were rumors that he defected – gave an interview two days ago to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which will be published in full on Monday.

According to Shara, Syria’s situation obligates the establishment of a government with wide-ranging authorities that includes representatives of all the factions, in order to meet the challenges of running the country. In the parts of the interview published on Sunday, Shara did not address the fate of President Bashar Assad, although analysts saw Shara’s agreement to give the interview as a sign of Assad’s weakening grip on the reins of power, even over his own backyard.

A report in the British Sunday Times strengthens this assessment. According to the article, which quotes a senior Russian source who met with Assad several times over the last year, Assad is planning to escape to an Allawite city or village close to the Syrian coast, and conduct his last campaign by utilizing some of the battalions still loyal to him.

According to the Sunday Times, forces loyal to Assad may continue fighting, even after Damascus falls, similar to how Gadhafi loyalists fought even after rebel forces entered Tripoli. The Russian source said that Russia does not plan on sending rescue forces in to help Assad or provide aid to the Syrian army, however he emphasizes that the American intelligence community is aware that the forces loyal to Assad are well armed and it is not unlikely that they are holding Ballistic missiles and even unconventional weapons.

According to estimates, these same forces will fight to improve their positions and secure their place in post-Assad Syria. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday in a radio interview that Assad’s days are numbered and called on the international community to support the opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition , which constitutes the best alternative to the current Syrian regime.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Sunday that the Syrian rebels will not prevail and cannot achieve military victory. Nasrallah said the developing facts on the ground are planned by the U.S. and the West, whereby the armed militias identified with sl-Qaida and Islamic Jihad are pouring into Syria under its nose.

“I warn al-Qaida: the Americans and the European countries and Arab and Islamic countries have set a trap for you in Syria,” Nasrallah told al-Qaida operatives. Nasrallah added that the West is interested in prolonging the crisis in Syria as it serves the interests of Israel and the U.S. in taking Syria out of the equation.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Syrian regime and the international community to interfere in an effort to stop the bomb attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and spare them from the bloodshed. Abbas made the statement in the wake of a massive aerial attack by the Syrian air force on the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus on Sunday, in which dozens were wounded. Abbas also said the Syrian army bombed the Abdel Qader Husseini Mosque in the camp, where over 600 refugees from southern Damascus neighborhoods had gathered.

A group of Palestinians activists identified with the Popular Front’s (PFLP) headquarters, known to be Ahmed Jibril’s organization, issued an arrest warrant on Sunday against Jibril for being an an Assad ally and thus indirectly responsible for Palestinians involved in the Syrian warfare.  Members of the group said they intend on announcing that according to an unofficial estimate, the number of Palestinians who have died since the start of the war is close to 1,000, since refugee camps have become a hiding place for rebels.

 

View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/syrian-vp-admits-assad-s-army-cannot-prevail-in-civil-war.premium-1.485196

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