Al Waref Institute for Humanitarian StudiesSyria Watch Project, August 29, 2011
Al Waref E-Newsletter on Syrian Revolution
Qaddafi Gone! Will Assad Follow?
a Unity of History, but a Unity of Fate?
Assad, who has tried in vain to crush the 5-month-old revolt,appears increasingly out of touch as he refuses to acknowledgethe hundreds of thousands of people demanding his ouster,analysts say. Instead, he blames the unrest on Islamic extremistsand thugs. But many observers say Assad should heed thelessons of Libya."Gadhafi is gone; now it's your turn, Bashar!" protestersshouted in several cities across the country hours after Assaddismissed calls to step down during an interview on state TV."Leaders should know that they will be able to remain in power as long as they remain sensitive to thedemands of the people," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, according to Turkey's Anatolianews agency.Turkey, a former close ally of Syria and an important trade partner, has grown increasingly frustrated withDamascus over its deadly crackdown. The violence has left Syria facing the most serious internationalisolation in decades, with widespread calls for Assad to step down.Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people
most of them unarmed protesters
have been killed inthe government's crackdown on the uprising.Britain's Defense Secretary Liam Fox told BBC radio that Assad would "be thinking again in light of whathas happened in Tripoli overnight.""There is an unavoidable change in the area
and I think the message to those in that region is that if you donot allow change to be a process it can become an event," he said.Syria presented a different case than other Arab nations swept by unrest this year. A military intervention has been all but ruled out, given the quagmire in Libya and the lack of any strongopposition leader in Syria to rally behind. The U.S. and other nations have little leverage to threaten furtherisolation or economic punishment of Assad's pro-Iranian regime.
Taking inspiration from the rapid unraveling of theregime in Libya, thousands of Syrians poured into thestreets and taunted President Bashar Assad withshouts that his family's 40-year dynasty will be thenext dictatorship to crumble