Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 19th, 2018

Assad’s Last Choices

There is no certainty on next happenings in the Arab changing world. Uprisings have surprisingly smothered many Arab regimes that enjoyed dictatorial rule over the past decades. Before unrests erupted in Syria, the long time President Bashar al-Assad told reporters that the public opinion towards government in his country was different from that in other Arab countries. He declared that his government enjoyed citizens' consent and support.

However, his optimist view didn't last longer. Asad's regime is rocked by angry protests. The country has intensified a crackdown on anti-government protesters with a coordinated attack on several suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and on a city in the southern governorate of Daraa, where the unrest began two months ago. The Interior Ministry denied yesterday's accounts of a mass grave near Daraa city, saying the allegation was part of a "campaign of provocation and baseless falsehoods." Authorities have said they were chasing militants and "terrorist elements" in the area.

In the meantime, the country's rising instability and uncertain future are already reverberating beyond its borders in Iran, Israel, Lebanon and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. A global objection over deadly crackdowns on month-old, anti-regime demonstrations has widened.

The United States, European Union and the United Nations renewed calls on Syria to halt the violence. The United States and the European Union said on Tuesday the international community was planning further sanctions against Syria over its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests, as the opposition called for a general strike. At the same time, France said the UN Security Council is close to achieving a majority for a resolution to condemn the crackdown.

Very few analysts believe that the regime of Bashar al-Assad will be able to duplicate his father's decisive crackdown that restored order in 1982 after the government massacred 20,000 people in the northern city of Hama. The current protests are too widely dispersed to be snuffed out in one city - such as the southern city of Deraa where Syrian tanks rolled in on Monday - or among one political group.

According to many politicians and analysts in Syria, the government of long time President Assad is enjoying its last moments in power. The opposition, political activists and human rights organizations say, Bashar Al-Asad didn't like but was forced to concede some of the reforms that Syrians were denied from since his Father, Hafiz Assad, came to power following 1963 coup d'état.

And, taking in mind the regional and global outcomes of the democratic movements spreading mainly across the Arab countries, it seems true that protests have, so far, achieved bulk of its objectives. With the expanding international support for pro-democracy protestors, clear indications suggest that either Assad is enjoying his last moments in power or Syria will lean towards further unexpected instability and some possible domestic conflicts. So, he only holds his last choices.