[Dehai-WN] Aljazeera.com: Video-Inside Syria Are these the last days of al-Assad's regime?

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 12:18:33 +0100

Inside Syria Are these the last days of al-Assad's regime?

Al Jazeera's new show examining events inside Syria asks what direction the
country is moving in.

 <http://www.aljazeera.com/profile/inside-syria.html> Inside Syria Last
Modified: 19 Dec 2011 08:01


Nine months have passed since the uprising in Syria began. But events there
have taken a very different path to those followed in the other states
involved in the Arab Awakening.


For one, the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, remains in
power and does not seem to be in any danger of being overthrown by either
domestic or international forces.

But the exact situation inside the country remains unclear: the one defining
feature of the Syrian situation has been confusion.

The al-Assad government has largely throttled media coverage and the few
recent interviews the president has given have flatly contradicted all the
claims made by international governments and organisations.

Inside Syria, Al Jazeera's new weekly broadcast examining events in Syria,
will attempt to shed as much light as possible on the situation inside the
country, albeit from outside Syria.

On this episode we are joined by Samir Aita, the editor of the Arabic
edition of La Monde Diplomatique, Patrick Seale, the author of The Struggle
for Syria and Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East, and Ammar
Waqqaf, a member of the Syrian Social Club, as we ask: Just what direction
is Syria heading in?

So, are we witnessing the final days of the al-Assad regime or will the
situation there continue as it is now indefinitely? Does Syrian civil
society want change and how widespread is the uprising? Do the protesters
represent the majority of Syrians? And just what is Bashar al-Assad

"It is pretty clear that Syrian society is divided on this issues; there are
perhaps 30 per cent of the population which very much want a change, and
detest the present regime; there's another 30 per cent who perhaps support
it and are frightened of an alternative; and I think there's a balance in
between - perhaps there's another 30 or 35 per cent who are just frightened
of change. They've seen what has happened in Iraq, they've seen [the] total
destruction of Iraq with their civil war, and they are sort of a silent
majority [who] are just worried, they are neither one side nor the other."

Patrick Seale, the author of The Struggle for Syria




Inside Syria, Al Jazeera's new weekly show examining events inside the
country, airs each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 1730; Sunday:
0030, 0730, 1130.Key events in the Syrian uprising

March 15 - Uprising begins in the southern city of Deraa

April - Bashar al-Assad ends the state of emergency

May - The EU and the US impose sanctions on Syria

August - Obama calls for al-Assad to step down

November 12 - Arab League suspends Syria's membership

November 27 - Arab League adopts sweeping sanctions against Syria's

December 2 - The UN calls for international action

December 11 - General strike by the Syrian opposition

December 12 - UN declares the death toll has risen above 5,000 as the Syrian
government calls on voters to turn out for local elections

December 13 - Military defectors kill 27 soldiers in one of the largest
attacks yet on Syria's security forces


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