End close for al-Assad: German spy chief
BERLIN - Reuters
Demonstrators hold opposition flags at the site of buildings badly damaged after a Syrian Air Force fighter jet operated by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad fired missiles, according to activists, during a protest in Daraya, near Damascus December 7, 2012. REUTERS photoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is its final stages and will be unable to survive as more parts of the country slip from his control, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency (BND) said.
“Armed rebels are coordinating better, which is making their fight against Assad more effective,” Gerhard Schindler told the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung newspaper, in an interview made public on Saturday.
“Assad’s regime will not survive.”
Rebels fighting to topple Assad declared Damascus International Airport a battle zone on Friday, while Moscow and Washington both sounded downbeat about the prospects of a diplomatic push to end the conflict after talks.
Fighting around the capital city has intensified over the past week, and Western officials have begun speaking about faster change on the ground in a 20-month-old conflict that has killed 40,000 people.
“Evidence is mounting that the regime in Damascus is now in its final phase,” Schindler said.
Although neither Assad nor the rebels had been able to take the upper hand, Assad was losing control of more and more parts of the country, and was focusing his energy on defending Damascus, key military sites and airports, Schindler added.