18 August 2012

Syria on the brink: It seems increasingly clear that the Syrian government’s position is untenable, and well past the “tipping point,” as new reports in the Middle East are saying that Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa has defected to the opposition and fled to neighboring Jordan. Saudi-owned broadcaster Al-Arabiyah quoted an activist with the opposition Syrian Free Army as saying Sharaa disappeared about 10 days ago and was believed to have traveled to Amman. 

After the defection of the Syrian prime minister, this particular defection, if true, is very significant, reflecting al-Sharaa’s stature and prominence and as a confirmation of the near complete breakdown in security and erosion of trust and confidence in Assad’s inner most circle of advisers and officials. 

Even Assad supporters in Russia seem to be hedging their bets, reaching out to the rebels seeking to prepare for the near certain collapse of the Assad regime. After 17 months of mounting conflict, it now seems only a matter of time, but closing fast.