Diplomater i Damaskus har begynt å forberede seg på at regimet faller. Det faller fordi det ikke har ressurser til å fortsette kampen. Hverken mannskaper eller penger.
Regimets eneste svar på opprøret har vært å drepe mennesker. Det har ikke virket. Så snart regimet sender styrker til én by, flammer det opp i en ny. Nå kjemper de fra Deraa i sør til Jisr al-Sughour i nord. Så store styrker rår ikke regimet over. Ikke styrker som det kan stole på.
Det kom som et sjokk på regimet at soldater og offiserer deserterte i Jisr al-Sughour og slo seg sammen med lokale krefter. Da forsterkninger kom for å rydde opp, ble 120 sikkerhetssoldater drept. Denne historien har etterhvert sevet ut, og den undergraver moralen.
Et annet moment er penger. Regimet har ikke penger til å holde det gående i lang tid. Dette er et tog som kommer til å kollidere, sier en diplomat.
Reuters har en god analytisk artikkel:
«Our assessment is that the regime will fall,» predicted the Damascus-based diplomat. «They have three to six months of actual military capabilities to sustain this, but they cannot keep a prolonged operation going indefinitely.»
Najib al-Ghadban, a Syrian academic and activist, said in London there was a broad consensus on overthrowing the Assad family after 40 years in power.
«We believe strongly that the regime has lost its legitimacy. It has no vision on how to get the country out of the crisis. The situation is deteriorating,» Ghadban said. «We are certain this will reach a positive end like Tunisia and Egypt,» he added.
Diplomater sier de oppfordrer generaler til å gripe makten. Dette er oppsiktsvekkende opplysninger.
The international community, diplomats said, see a post-Assad era ideally facilitated by a military coup and several governments are encouraging Syrian generals to mutiny.
«We are isolating him and his family. We’re addressing military leaders and cabinet members to rise up. We’re encouraging the generals to rise up,» the diplomat said.
«The key variable is the continuation of the momentum (of the revolt). We really believe there is no point of return.»
Når kassen er tom og sikkerhetsapparatet ikke får lønn…
«When they are no longer capable of paying the salaries of bureaucrats, the army, the police and their Alawite militia this crisis will balloon and bring about the collapse of the regime,» the diplomat said. «This is a train wreck waiting to happen.»
Signs of stretched resources and fraying loyalties are already apparent.
As protests started to spread, the authorities pulled out contingents of security and elite forces from the capital, which are now firefighting from Deraa in the south to Jisr al-Sughour in the north, the scene of heavy reprisals after the government this month claimed to have lost 120 dead to «armed gangs.»
But even so residents say there are demonstrations every weekend in Damascus and surrounding suburbs.
The bloodshed in Jisr al Shugour was the result of splits in army ranks, diplomats say, an ominous sign for the Assads.
«Around 50 soldiers and mid ranking officers defected and were supported by locals and the authorities sent a force to counter them and 120 were killed,» said another Syria-based diplomat, dismissing government accounts this was the work of Salafi fundamentalists as propaganda.
Opprøret får bredere støtte, og det er blitt mer sofisitikert. Terroren har ikke nyttet.
He and others point to the growing sophistication of the rebellion, which draws support from across society.
«After three months this is not a poor man’s uprising. There is significant financing from the Syrian business community and upper class. They give money for satellite phones, cameras, food, water and medical supplies,» the resident diplomat said.
«This is a broad-based movement that includes not only Syrian youth, but imams from mosques, businessmen, even former Baath party members.»
Hvis analysen stemmer og Assad-regimet faller, kan det få meget store konsekvenser. Ikke minst Iran vil bli svekket, og Hizbollah og Hamas, og Israels posisjon vil bli styrket.
President Bashar al-Assad is losing control to his hardline relatives, his forces are overstretched, his government is running out of money and the revolt against his rule is gathering support and funding.