Sources in the Negev Bedouin Arab community predicted Sunday that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is likely to be in office a lot longer than most analysts believe, due primarily to the support he is receiving from Iran.
"Mahmoud," a community figure who requested anonymity due to fears of retaliation, also said the latest official death toll of 93,000 in the 26-month-long conflict, issued Thursday by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, is just the tip of the iceberg.
"You know, official figures often don’t reflect the actual figures on the ground," he told Arutz Sheva on Sunday. "This thing is far from over, and I doubt Assad will be displaced. Watch and see. The numbers could climb much higher, maybe even double or more, and he will still be there.
Nevertheless, he added, Syria is not strong enough to win a war with the IDF.
"If it ever comes to fighting Israel," he warned, "then [Assad] will have met his match. That war he will lose."
Syrian government forces recaptured a Damascus suburb over the weekend near the international airport, according to Syrian state news agency SANA.
On Saturday forces battled for control of the Ahmadiyeh area, in Eastern Ghouta, just two days after a mortar attack disabled a runway at the airport, briefly disrupting air traffic.
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed several rebels and destroyed their bases over a 24-hour period, according to SANA and a local rebel commander who gave reporters his nom de guerre, Abu Hareth.