Thursday 22 February 2018

Patrick Cockburn: Syria’s Assad has a powerful army, but very little moral authority left

THE Syrian government looks ever more isolated. The latest blow came yesterday when King Abdullah of Jordan became the first Arab ruler to call for Bashar al-Assad to give up power.

King Abdullah's outspokenness is a further sign Syria's neighbours believe his regime cannot survive. Syria's suspension by the Arab League had already underlined that Mr Assad has few allies left. Comparisons can be made with Libya six months ago: as with Syria, the Libyan regime found itself without friends and allies.

A vote by the Arab League opened the door to Nato's military intervention, which ultimately proved decisive in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. However, Mr Assad still has a powerful army loyal to him while Colonel Gaddafi never really had an army to begin with.

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