“The Secret of the Failed Coup against President Assad…!”

publisher: وكالة رم rm Agency

Publishing date: 2011-09-03


Analysts believe that six months of popular protests in Syria have not succeeded in shaking the grip of President Bashar al-Assad’s family, which still controls the military, security apparatus, and the economy in the battle for survival.

Patrick Seale, a writer and journalist who has written several books on Syria and its former president Hafez al-Assad, stated, “The Assad family has remained unified, at least for now, but it is undoubtedly under tremendous pressure.”

Seale considered that “it will be difficult for the opposition to topple the regime if the family remains united with the security apparatus.”

On the other hand, Syrian opposition journalist residing in London, Bassam Jaara, said, “The regime is still very strong, and there have been no cracks in its ranks or its structure so far.”

Syrian opposition activists began a protest movement in the streets in March, inspired by the events in Tunisia and Egypt, demanding the overthrow of the Baathist regime that has ruled Syria with an iron fist for four decades, led by the Assad family.

The crackdown on the movements has resulted in 2,700 deaths, according to United Nations figures.

While the Tunisian and Egyptian armies ultimately chose to abandon their regime leaders, the Syrian army remained loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam said in statements to Agence France-Presse, “I believe that we should view the army in light of its current reality as a tool for implementing the crimes of the regime, but there are certainly many who feel fear, bitterness, and pain.”

He added, “The factor of fear has so far prevented these people from banding together. This will happen, but not today. It will be when real international and Arab pressure increases. At that point, the regime’s institutions will disintegrate, and many will work to jump from the regime’s ship into the sea in the hope of salvation.”

The Syrian army is led by members of the Assad family, who belong to the Alawite minority.

The president’s brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, holds the position of Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, while the president’s brother, Maher, heads the Fourth Division, which is considered the elite division of the Syrian army.

Observers affirm that the early stages of suppressing the protest movement in Syria were primarily led by Maher al-Assad. Regarding Maher, Khaddam, who was part of the Assad regime for 21 years before resigning in 2005, says, “Maher is an execution tool for his brother,” emphasizing that “Maher is tied and committed to his brother.”

Khaddam, residing in exile in Paris, states that “the decision-maker in the family and the regime is Bashar al-Assad. Family members may offer ideas, consultations, or proposals, but he is the one who makes the decision, and the role of others in the family is implementation.”

According to Khaddam, “Many times (Assad) makes decisions based on someone’s suggestion and then reverses them based on someone else’s suggestion.”

He adds that Bashar al-Assad suffers from “the disease of arrogance and the authoritarianism of opinion,” pointing out that there is no real role for the women of the family, as some believe, especially Bashar’s mother Anisa, his sister Bushra, and his wife Asma al-Akhras.

In this context, he states, “They have no real role. Mother Anisa is in Qardaha, she is sick, and Bushra has been removed from decision-making since her father’s death, and I do not believe that his wife has a role in what he does.”

Jaara, who worked as an advisor to former Syrian Prime Minister Mahmoud al-Zu’bi, agrees with this description, considering that “Bashar holds complete power.”

Jaara states, “If Bashar is unable to control decisions, he should resign and reconcile with his people, but I do not think he is like that, and I do not believe there are any disagreements within the Assad family.”

Jaara points out that Bashar al-Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf, who is considered one of the wealthiest individuals in Syria, “clarified the equation from the very beginning in his interview with The New York Times when he said, ‘Either we succeed together or we fail together.'”

Jaara affirms that Bashar al-Assad relied on retired military generals from his father’s era who were comrades in suppressing the 1982 Islamist uprising in Hama.

Approximately 20,000 people were killed in the Syrian city of Hama in 1982 when the regime suppressed an Islamic uprising against President Hafez al-Assad.

On September 5, the Middle East newspaper reported “informed Western sources” as saying that Assad “is enlisting retired military generals from his late father President Hafez al-Assad’s comrades who participated in suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood movement in 1982.”