Israel, In Reassessment, Thinks Syria’s Bashar Assad Will Last Awhile -- McClatchy News
JERUSALEM — Israel has reversed its assessment about the staying power of Syrian President Bashar Assad and now thinks he’ll remain in control of at least part of his country for some time to come – a conclusion that makes it likely, a growing number of officials think, that an escalation of violence between the two countries may be inevitable.
Israeli defense officials said that not only was the Syrian army outperforming expectations against rebel forces but also that previous forecasts of Assad’s fall depended on the belief that vast numbers of his supporters would defect, a prediction that hasn’t come to pass.
Adding to the assessment that Assad won’t fall quickly is the Israeli failure to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay the sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Syria. The advanced weapons system will significantly boost Syria’s ability to stave off intervention in its civil war, and "change the balance of power" in the region, Israeli officials said.
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My Comment: The Russians are also now reassessing their earlier predictions (at the start of the year) that the regime of Bashar Assad would start to fray by April/May of this year. In my case, I had used both Russian and Israeli predictions that the regime would start to crumble by summer ..... with Assad supporters making their last stand on the Mediterranean coast at the end of this year or next. The dynamics on the ground have clearly changed in the past 6 weeks, and the reason why .... in my opinion .... is the introduction of thousands of fresh soldiers from this organization into the fight. Hezbollah has changed the dynamics of the war .... but I agree with this assessment ..... they cannot afford to stay long in Syria's quagmire.