Barak: Assad 'Only Has Weeks'

Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad only has 'a few weeks' before it loses control.

Gabe Kahn.,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Defense Ministry Photo

According to Defense Minister Ehud Barak the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has only ''a few weeks'' before it loses control of the already tempestuous country.

''The Assad family has no more than a few weeks to remain in control in Syria,'' Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense committee on Monday.

''There is no possibility in the current situation of evaluating what will happen the day after Bashar's fall,'' he said.

Barak warned the committee the fall of the Assad family could have implications for the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

''In the north, there may be possible implications from Syria on the Golan Heights and a broader area as the result of the loss of control,'' he said on Monday in a separate statement released by his office.

Syrian opposition leaders have said that Israel will "likely remain an enemy" in the eyes of any government they head.

Assad has been at the helm of a a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists that UN Human Rights officials estimate has killed more than 5000 civilians since 'Arab Spring' protests erupted in Syria early in 2011.

But his embattled regime has become increasingly unstable at the now 10-month protest movement has been augmented not only by broad Western and Arab League sanctions, but a growing armed insurgency by the Syrian Free Army.

Led by dissident Syrian generals given safe-haven by Turkey, the SFA has launched a persistent and deadly gueurilla campaign against Assad's forces as its ranks have swelled to an estimated 20,000 army defectors.

Syrian officials say some 2,000 security personnel have been killed in the unrest, mostly by "foreign backed terrorists."

Assad has asserted for months that the radical Sunni Al Qaeda terror organization has found a home among elements of the Syrian opposition.

Recent reports that several al-Qaeda front groups in Lebanon have been funneling arms to armed opposition groups in Syria have become a major point of contention in Beirut's halls of power.

Assad and his Hizbullah allies have insinuated Lebanese opposition figures who recently met with Saudi officials in Riyadh are linked to anti-Assad insurgents in Syria.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have sought to isolate Assad as a means of undercutting rival Iran's axis of influence in the region.





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