Monday, August 18, 2008

What is brewing in Syria?

In the last couple of months Bashar Assad’s totalitarian regime have been subject to a series of high profile assassinations. First, Hezbollah’s military operations commander, Imad Mughnieh, who was killed in one of Damascus most secure neighborhoods. Then Mohammad Suleiman, Assad’s military right hand, was killed in his sumptuous villas on Tartous sea side.

When Mughnieh was first killed, my first impression was that the Mossad (Israel foreign intelligence service) was behind the assassination. But I felt that if we witnessed a certain rapprochement between Israel and Syria after the killing, it might means that the Syrian were somehow involved. And without much surprise, two countries started peace negotiations a few months after Mughnieh assassination.

So in view of all these developments, several scenarios were put forth, to explain Suleiman assassination: he was killed by the Iranian/Hezbollah for his involvement in Mughnieh termination, a scenario that I do not favor. Or it was an internal job caused by some inter-fighting between several Syrian clans (maybe Assad’s and Ashaf Shoukat’s). Or maybe the Mossad is once more settling some old scores...

Never the less that who did is less important than the act itself, and its immediate implications. Syria is witnessing a power struggle and there is a hidden power shift currently at work. Who will come on top is the question that should be asked.

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