Sunday, May 26, 2013

Israel 'discovers' that President Assad still commands a large supporting base & an Army that 'outperforms expectations'

"... 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.
"The model that Israel had been using, the predictions we had been making, were based on far more defections from the Assad regime, and more fighting prowess and organization from the rebels,” said one Israeli military official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of Israel’s strict military censorship laws. “We have had to re-evaluate our models in the last few months, and we now see indications for very different scenarios in Syria."..."

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