Evacuation of Syrian government as regime fears attack by West
SYRIA, DAMASCUS : A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 26, 2013 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia in Damascus, during which he warned the United States of "failure" if it attacks Syria. AFP PHOTO / HO / SANA
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The Syrian government has moved their political offices to schools and universities to seek safe haven in case of a military attack by the West, Al Arabiya reported the country’s opposition as saying on Friday.
President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces have also moved their scud missiles and launchers from a military base in northern to Damascus to unidentified regions, the opposition added.
The opposition Local Coordination Committees (LCC) said that the Assad regime has also cut off power supply in Mount Qasioun and the People’s Palace military units located in the capital.
On Thursday, residents and a source from the opposition Free Syrian Army in Damascus said headquarters belonging to Syria’s command forces and the country’s Air Force, which are close to security complexes in western Kafrsousa, were partially evacuated.
A “large number” of military defectors have also been reported by the opposition.
Syrian National Coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh said that his main opposition group “has evidence that a large number of officers have defected last night, wore civilian clothes and left the country.”
Saleh’s statement comes contrary to statements made by a Syrian officer in an interview with The Guardian newspaper. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Syrian army’s morale is high and that at least 8,000 suicide “martyrs” are ready to foil U.S. warplanes hand-in-hand with two Syrian allies, Hezbollah and Iran.
While the West is still tiptoeing towards making a decision on a military strike insisting it will not seek regime change, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad al-Jarba, said any military intervention by the West against Assad will eventually overthrow his regime.
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