Assad's last hurrah: as he hits Libya-level crisis we look at the parallels

Published August 5th, 2012 - 14:18 GMT

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High ranking defectors for Syria and Libya: Manaf Tlas and Mousa Kousa
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Image 1 of 8: The high-ranking defections in both countries signaled the beginning of the end. For Syria they happened a little later than in Libya but as the Syrian generals keep popping up in Turkey to tell their side of the story, you might wonder who is left to lead the regime troops. Syrian defector, Manaf Tlas (left) and the Libyan Mousa Kousa (right).

Relatives to dictators die: brother in-law Assef Shawkat (right) and son Khamis Gaddafi (left)
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Image 1 of 8: The inner sanctum is hit: a sure sign in Libya of Gaddafi's imminent demise was the death of his son, Khamis in a bold move by rebels. Assad suffered a similar loss when rebels went straight for his inner circles and bombed Damascus two weeks ago. His brother-in-law and confidante, Assef Shawkat, was among the victims.

Syria and Libya rebel strongholds: Benghazi (above) Aleppo (below)
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Image 1 of 8: The battle for the second city: In Libya the takeover of Benghazi by rebel forces was key to overthrowing the regime once and for all. The FSA has fought bitterly for northern capital, Aleppo, for almost a week and reports now indicate they control over half of this territory.

Posters of Gaddafi (left) and Assad (right) being defaced
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Image 1 of 8: Where is Assad? The public appearance of both ex-Libyan leader and current Syrian president have followed a very similar pattern. As the fighting intensified both have gone into hiding. While Gaddafi issued more and more bizarre audio messages from his secret location, Assad's last official speech was June 2.

Gaddafi's anchor woman: Hala Musrati (below) & Dunya TV presenter (above)
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Image 1 of 8: The state media crumbles: In Libya we saw news anchor, Hala Musrati, a tireless supporter of the regime, finally crack just before Gaddafi was overthrown. In Syria, the pro-regime TV station, Al Dunya, has started to show signs of decay as presenters report "all calm" while bullets clearly rattle in the background.

Gaddafi is long dead; and Assad's fate hangs in the balance
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Image 1 of 8: Will they kill him? With Gaddafi long dead, the signs are not good for Assad as rebels warn of Alawi reprisals as soon as the regime is overthrown. If he faces a fate similar to the Libyan dictator then it will be a vicious and brutal end, fitting perhaps given the regime's unmitigated behavior towards the rebels.

Nato war plane to Libya what Saudi king is to Syria
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Image 1 of 8: To intervene or not to intervene: Foreign intervention shows the biggest disparity between the two countries as there have been no signs of a NATO-style invasion for Syria. Although scrape the surface, and could the covert Saudi weapons aid have the same effect?

Gaddafi used as puppet after death; Assad's fate still uncertain
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Image 1 of 8: Back from the dead: Should Syria's Lion end up dead at the hands of his people or sentenced a la Mubarak style, would he gain the martyrdom that Gaddafi finally came to assume -- having a voice beyond the grave? Larger than (dictator's) life?

Assad and Gaddafi: age aside, the similarities are obvious. Or are they? Although the Syrian chaos is more often compared to Iraq, we take a look at a less obvious, but quite tempting, parallel to get a feel of whether the end is nigh for the Syrian dictator.  Since Libya's downfall came first, we can see the signs of a leader's demise playing out now in Assad's regime.
 
Today's news that almost half of Syria's second city, the strategic northern Aleppo, is now under control is a stark reminder of the Benghazi rebel stronghold last year. In Libya, the rebels used this point of strength to attack the capital but with loyal supporters still clinging on in Damascus, can the FSA do the same?
 
And what will become of the now infamous Syrian president? While he gave less delusional speeches than the late Libyan dictator, like Gaddafi, he has given up the battlefield for a safer hiding place but will he face the same grizzly fate once the rebels find him? Some critics have said FSA brutality is a hindrance to a successful post-revolution government. And the Syrian 'rebel's' after all have the advantage of hindsight and learning they can glean from the Libyan story. For Gaddafi, there was no restraint shown in the manner of his murder or the subsequent far-fetched rumors of his resurrection. 
 
 
 
Share your thoughts on what stage of the game you think Syria has reached. Is it quite game over for Assad, or does he stand a fighting chance of escaping the ugly finish visited upon Gaddafi?
 

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I am personally convinced that the simiralities between the two is the unrelenting Western Media propaganda, which has surprisingly shifted from professionalism to extreme biase. This is very shameful to say the list. But it is going on.

History and posterity will judge hashly the current media for the crimes it has perpetuated against the truth. But like in all situations, a much fairer media, based on true principles of truth and justice and the values of common good will evolve.

Paul

Paul Mugisha (not verified) Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:34

u are totally ignorant

Tam (not verified) Sun, 08/05/2012 - 15:06

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