Barak: Syria's Assad is 'Doomed'

Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged the int'l community to hasten the departure of Syria's Bashar al-Assad, which he says is inevitable

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Gabe Kahn,

Ehud Barak accuses and is accused
Ehud Barak accuses and is accused

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday told CNN that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "doomed" and urged the international community to hasten his departure.

"I'm quite frustrated for the slowness of its collapse. I believe that he [Assad] is doomed anyhow. I believe that there is a need to raise our voices both for moral reasons and practical ... much more loudly," Barak said.

He stressed "that every possible step is taken by world community, by Nato, by the United States, by the Russians, Turkey could have a special role in it, to accelerate the whole thing."

"I think that a way should be found ... to change [the regime] in Syria, preferably [using] the Yemenite example, namely to let Assad and his group go out and ... not to dismantle the party, the intelligence, the armed forces."

Barak spoke to CNN in Washington during his third trip to the US in as many months to discuss Iran's nuclear program saying Israel and America are "basically ... on the same page" vis-a-vis Tehran.

"We say loud and clear, the Americans say the same, the president says the same, a nuclear military Iran is unacceptable," Barak said.

"We are determined to prevent them from turning nuclear. And that no option except for containment, no option should be removed off the table in order to achieve this objective.

"It will be a major blow to Iran when Assad falls, they are now supporting him very actively. It will be a weakening blow to the Hezbollah and probably Islamic Jihad," he added.

Barak's remarks on Assad's impending "doom" come as the death toll in the embattled Syrian regime's brutal crackdown on the popular uprising against the autocratic rule of the Assad family continues to rise.

UN Human Rights officials – who say they quit trying to tally the dead months ago due to the pervasive chaos in Syria – say at least 9,100 have been killed since March 2011.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the death toll has passed 12,000 – most of them civilians – with at least 900 having been killed since a UN-brokered ceasefire deadline passed in April.

Assad faces not only a popular uprising, but a growing armed rebellion by armed defectors led by dissident Syrian officers who have taken refuge in Turkey.