Tuesday 17 October 2017

Robert Fisk: Assad is going ... but the streets of Damascus will be awash with blood first

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) stands with leaders of the army, including Fahad Jassim al-Freij (front L) and Daoud Rajha (front R)
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) stands with leaders of the army, including Fahad Jassim al-Freij (front L) and Daoud Rajha (front R)

THEY have gone for the jugular now. The brother-in-law of the President, the Defence Minister, a massive bomb close to – or in – the headquarters of the military apparatus run by the President's own brother. Assassinations take time to plan, but this was on an epic scale, to match the bloodbath across Syria.

Bashar al-Assad's own sister, Bushra, one of the pillars of the Baath party, loses her husband in a massive explosion in the very centre of Damascus. No wonder the Russians talk about the "decisive battle".

It won't be a replay of Stalingrad, but the tentacles of the rebellion have now moved towards the heart. And, of course, there are massacres to come. Why else would thousands of Syria's citizens flee to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp yesterday, to seek protection from the most betrayed citizens of the Arab world?

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