Betting on Bashar’s Expire Date; Russia Prevaricates; National Coalition Struggles

Friday, December 14th, 2012 – Joshua Landis Blog – Syria Comment

The Russians of said that the rebels may win, but that does not signify that they will roll over on Bashar. Moscow remains unwilling to recognize the new National Coalition, which would allow the US to take it to the Security Council of the UN for international recognition to replace Assad’s government. Such recognition would give the National Coalition much greater leverage over militias, because any loans, new passports, visas, etc. would all have to go through the new government. But that still seems far off.

Predictions of the Assad regime’s demise still seem iffy. The rebels have made great advances but they are far from taking Damascus. Assad is showing growing signs of desperation, but he faces a very fragmented rebel front.

NATO chief says regime in Syria is ‘approaching collapse,’ fall now ‘just a matter of time’.

King Abdullah of Jordan said that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad “can hold for two years at the military level, but not more than four months at the economic level.”

    The king said that “Jordan was severely damaged as a result of frequent interruptions of Egyptian natural gas, which cost the state treasury about 5 billion Jordanian dinars [$7.04 billion],” stressing that the interruption of gas ”is the real reason behind the economic crisis plaguing the country.”

Syria Deeply

    Exclusive with US Ambassador Robert Ford on the decision to name Jabhat al Nusra a terror group, a look at What’s Next After Marrakesh with opposition architect Yaser Tabbara, and our first cross-post with the Council on Foreign Relations, an expert roundup asking What Should US Policy Be in Syria?

    We also had a long talk with Joshua Landis on Assad, Alewites, and the future of Syria.

Syrian People Not Swayed by New Coalition – al-Monitor

    It is as though the Syrian public is fated to suffer from the weakness and fragmentation of an opposition that seeks to replace the regime, which has the most to gain from a transboundary division of the opposition. This comes at a time when optimism — which prevailed among the opposition masses after the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was created — has seemingly gone with the wind….