Monday, January 14, 2013
Syria's Basher Assad Moves His Family to Ship Off Of Syria's Coast
Saudi Arabia's al-Watan is reporting that Syrian dictator Basher Assad has moved his family and a select group of associates to a warship off Syria’s coast, where they're is being guarded by Russian naval forces. Reports are mixed about whether Assad is with them or whether he's still on the Syrian mainland. Some reports have him commuting to the mainland by helicopter, having lost confidence in elements of his security detail.
What this amounts to is political asylum for Assad by Russia, should he flee the country.
So far the civil war between Syria's Shi'ites, Alawites and other Assad loyalists and the Sunni, Muslim Brotherhood dominated Sunni insurgency has cost well over 60,000 lives, with numerous atrocities being committed by both sides.
Russia currently has a flotilla of five Russian warships laden with hundreds of troops deployed at the Syrian port of Tartus, Russia's chief naval base in the Middle East.
If Assad actually has taken asylum aboard the ship, it is fairly serious and a sign the endgame is approaching. if he merely got his family and close associates out of harm's way, then the end isn't near just yet.
In the meantime, the Russians continue to defend Assad, and have endorsed a speech he made last week calling for an end to hostilities, national elections and the formation of a new government.
I doubt the insurgents were impressed.Especially since they have important allies now like President Barack Obama.