06 August 2012

Syria: Is A Palace Coup Unfolding?

A few days ago, I suggested that a palace coup in Syria is the most desirable outcome for the main players in this drama. I enumerated the reasons and ventured that because of that it is also the most likely outcome. I speculated that the upcoming Aleppo massacre might provide the necessary trigger for significant defections.

Two days after I posted this, several high ranking military officers began crossing the Syrian border to join previous defectors in Turkey. Among them was the Deputy Chief of Security Forces of Latakia region, a Brigadier General and the first Syrian astronaut, General Muhammed Ahmed Faris. Yesterday another Brigadier General defected to Turkey accompanied by five high ranking officers.

This brings the total number of generals who passed to the other side to 31.

Today's announcement that the Syrian Prime Minister has joined the rebel forces is making me think that a palace coup is actually underway.

Moreover, BBC reports that:
Unconfirmed reports suggested that two other cabinet ministers had also deserted and there were claims that a third, Finance Minister Mohammad Jalilati, had been arrested while trying to flee.
As if on cue, the leader of the main Syrian opposition group Abdelbasset Seida made an unexpected announcement, just yesterday:
The leader of Syria's main political opposition group has said he is ready to negotiate with government officials whose hands are not "stained with blood" once the president, Bashar al-Assad, and his associates leave power.
The funny thing is that a short few weeks ago, they denied this very possibility.

This is beginning to look like a palace coup is taking place.

Stay tuned.

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