Wednesday morning in Damascus, Syria, a series of attacks left most senior leaders of the Syrian government dead. Experts claim that this could be a serious psychological setback that could loosen President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power in the war torn country.
The violence marked the most significant attack to al-Assad’s inner circle in the sixteen months of fighting since the bloodshed began. The country’s defense and interior ministers were two of the high-ranking officials to have died in the assault.
While mostly seen as a crippling blow to the faltering regime, Dan Plesch, director of the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, warned against seeing the attack as a turning point.
"We shouldn't exaggerate it," he said, "clearly it's very serious for the regime, and all the international attention that comes from what in any other environment one would call a terrorist action against the Syrian defense minister and the Defense Ministry." He also stated, "I think it's too early to talk about the imminent fall of the regime because the army as a whole still seems to be a coherent, large, and very heavily armed force."
On the other hand, government officials are optimistic that this attack helps usher in the final stage of the revolution. The hope is that losing support and showing weakness will cause the regime to finally fall.
Sterling, Joe and Smith-Spark, Laura (2012, July). Attack threatens Syrian president's grip on power. http://www.cnn.com. Retrieved July 18, 2012, from http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/18/world/meast/syria-violence-analysis/index.html?iref=allsearch