SYRIA/ Wazne (Al Jazeera): Al Qaeda ready to take Assad’s chemical weapons
Yesterday, the anti-Assad rebels attacked the national security office, killing two ministers and wounding the head of the secret services. Dawoud Rajha, Minister of Defense is the highest ranking victim and is also a Christian. Another victim of the attack was Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, who was the Deputy Minister of Defense. In a statement read on state television, an army leader declared that the armed forces are “more determined than ever to tackle all forms of terrorism and to cut off the hands of those threatening Syria”. According to Kamel Wazne, a Lebanese political analyst and commentator for Al Jazeera satellite television, “Assad is still very far from surrendering and both forces will fight to the death. The ongoing war threatens to spread to Lebanon, Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and, if Assad falls, there will be a mass exodus of Christians, as it happened in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein”.
The rebels have reached Damascus. Are we close to the capitulation of Assad?
The escalation in Syria has reached a critical point. What is taking place is a real war, and it is clear that many difficult days lie in front of us. Before anything actually changes in Syria, copious blood will flow. President Assad, despite the heavy losses reported yesterday, still has a large army to fight for him. He can rely on having between 100 thousand and 200 thousand units of soldiers, with a core of Alawites who will fight to the last.
What do you expect from the voting at the UN this week?
The UN, the West and the Gulf countries have not been able to handle this situation as they should. What was needed was a political platform capable of ensuring that the government and the opposition gather together around a table to reach a solution acceptable to all. Unfortunately, it is too late for compromise, and the escalation of violence is bound to reach its peak. Eventually we will have a winner, but in the meantime, how many more thousands of bodies will we count?
What are the possible consequences for neighboring countries?
What is happening in Syria is extremely dangerous for the Middle East in general, and could lead to a regional war. There are several nations that could be affected, including Lebanon, Iraq, Israel and, of course, Iran, not to mention the Gulf countries. In a word, the entire region could be involved if things get out of hand, especially since we know that Syria has chemical and biological weapons.
Is this simply propaganda, like it was in the case of Saddam Hussein's supposed secret arsenal?