|Assad may opt for war to escape Russian, Arab, European ultimatums|
|Written by Administrator|
|Tuesday, 30 August 2011|
Those sanctions are only a step away from a resolution authorizing NATO, together with Muslim and Arab nations, to intervene militarily in the Syrian crisis.
Debkafile's military and intelligence sources disclose that Turkey, as a NATO member, and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have been in discussions this past week on the form this intervention would take:
Debkafile's exclusive Iranian sources reveal that the Qatari ruler slapped down a blunt warning: Assad was finished, he said, and advised Iran to face up to this. For the sake of even minimal relations with the Arab world, Iran must ditch the Assad regime in Damascus or face the real danger of the Syrian crisis deteriorating into a regional conflict – whether against Syria or by Syria, he did not explain.
Ahmadinejad turned the emir down flat, according to our sources. He said Iran would never renege on its pact with Assad.
Once this source dries up, the Syrian ruler will be forced to cut down on those operations unless Iran is willing to make up the difference.
Assad is sure to appreciate that the coalition lining up against him of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Gulf Arab nations and Russia, are almost identical to the alignment (barring Moscow) which has just overthrown Muammar Qaddafi's regime in Tripoli. He and his advisers have no doubt discussed the possibility of being at the receiving end of the same treatment.
Their ruler's growing isolation and the real prospect of international punitive measures have given the opposition new heart after nearly six months of standing up to a deadly crackdown: Saturday, Aug. 27 Assad saw his own capital rallying against him with big demonstrations in central Damascus. The pressure from the street continued to build up through Sunday and Monday, some of the protesters venturing to hoist the old Syrian Republican flag instead of the Baathist version introduced by the Assads.
Aleppo is now the only Syrian city which has not so far come out against the regime. Tuesday morning, while Assad attended an Eid al-Fitr worship at a Damascus mosque, his soldiers sprayed demonstrators in the eastern town of Deir al-Zour with bullets.
Well-informed military sources warn that Assad will not be cowed by the international, military and economic noose tightening around his neck. He is far more likely to try and loosen it by lashing out against his enemies, starting with Israel. Iran will certainly be a willing supporter of such belligerence, starting a war which could spread like wildfire across the region.
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