The Kremlin said on March 31 that a report on an agreement between Russia and the United States on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was not true, that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had told several Arab countries that Russia and the U.S. reached an understanding on the future of Syria’s peace process, including Assad’s departure to another country at some unspecified stage.
Siwar Al Assad, the son of the former Syrian Vice President Rifaat Al-Assad and the cousin of President Bashar al-Assad, as the vice-president of the United Nationals Democratic Alliance (UNDA) opposition party, Siwar said the UNDA stands “firmly” behind the unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
Moscow is perfectly aware of the presence of Rifaat al-Assad in Geneva. The uncle and his son were even in Russia last week, 30.10.2015
[May 28 2015 rebel pressure to induce the ruler to step aside?]
The American administration has never wanted the rebels to overthrow Mr Assad and win the war. Their aim has been to use rebel pressure to induce the ruler to step aside and make way for a stable political settlement and transition. Lying behind this is a triangular rapprochement between the main regional powers backing the rebel factions: Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, who had long been working at cross purposes.
The Saudis in particular seem to have taken on a new sense of purpose after the accession of King Salman in January, taking a tougher and more proactive role against what they see as Iranian encroachment in the Arab arena, notably in Yemen and Syria.The mainly Islamist but non-“Islamic State” rebel groups welded themselves together into a “Victory Army” for the Idlib operations. They have set up a similar front in the Qalamoun area, and also for Aleppo. There were fears that the losses in Idlib province could open the way for a rebel thrust into Latakia province, the coastal heartland of the Alawite minority community to which the president and his family belong. Towards the end of 2012, the fall of Damascus – and the regime – seemed imminent and inevitable.
But it didn’t happen. The situation turned around quite rapidly, and it wasn’t long before a motley jumble of rebel groups were being pushed back on various fronts.
[December 4 2012 Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Makdissi flees from Damascus to U.S. “Zero Hour”]
With increased fighting in and around Damascus in recent weeks, Syrian activists have posted a video that calls on residents of the capital to prepare for what they say is a looming collapse of President Bashar Assad’s regime.
The YouTube video, called “Zero Hour, Your Final Chance,” promises an imminent battle in Damascus aimed at ousting Assad. It is filled with instructions on what to do to prepare for and survive such a battle.
The video calls for mass civil disobedience, general strikes and an intense psychological campaign to pressure army troops to abandon their posts and join the rebels.
The Syrian government said Makdissi was sacked and that it will issue a statement about his departure, which it didn’t.
Former Syrian foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, the most senior Christian official in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime, is en route – or already – in the U.S. after managing to leave Damascus, for Beirut. Assad regime torched his house in vengeance.
[August 9 2011]
Greek Orthodox Christian General Dawoud was assassinated in the 18 July 2012 Damascus bombing at the Syrian National Security Building at Rawda Square, Damascus. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree August 7 2011 appointing a Rajha, as Syrian Minister of Defense replacing former Defense Minister General Ali Habib. Gen. Dawoud Rajha was born in Damascus in 1947 and graduated from the Military College in 1968 specializing in field artillery. He took various military courses, including command, staff, and higher staff ones, and rose through the military ranks to that of major general in 1998 and to general in 2005. He occupied several military posts, among them regiment commander and brigade commander, and director of several departments and administrations in the armed forces before being appointed deputy chief of staff in 2004 and then chief of the general staff of the army and armed forces on 4/06/2009.