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President's brother key to Syria regime survival
AP ^ | 9/13/13 | BARBARA SURK

Posted on 09/13/2013 3:04:47 PM PDT by EBH

"He is known to be a merciless butcher," said Mohammed al-Tayeb, an opposition activist speaking by Skype from the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Douma, among the areas pounded by the 4th Division's assaults.

Within President Bashar Assad's circle of trust, Maher Assad has advocated an uncompromising response throughout the uprising.

"From the beginning, Maher was convinced that the uprising must be put down before any talks take place," said Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics. "The life of the regime depends on Maher's ability to prevent the rebels from infiltrating Damascus and toppling his brother's government. ... If Damascus falls, the regime goes,"

He also played a role in reshaping the Syrian military as the conflict dragged on. Once plagued by defections as rebels gained territory, the military has regained the upper hand this year with a series of powerful offensives, battling rebels to a standstill in cities and taking back some towns.

"The Syrian military has changed from a rusty institution, filled with passive and tired conscripts into an urban warfare fighting machine, filled with skilled and battle-hardened fighters," said Gerges. ...

... Following the Aug. 21 alleged chemical attack near Damascus that killed hundreds, opposition activists charged that the rockets carrying the chemical agents were fired by the 4th Division's 155th Brigade, which commands large missile sites on the mountains overlooking the capital. However, the opposition could not produce proof.

The United States blames the military for the attack but has not specified which units — though Maher Assad's are the ones that operate in the capital. The Syrian government has denied its troops carried out the attack, accusing foreign Islamic militants among the rebels.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Israel; Russia; Unclassified; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: assadbrother; iran; israel; lebanon; maheralassad; maherassad; potassiumfluoride; russia; sarin; sodiumfluoride; syria; syriarebels; syriawar; thebrotherdidit; unitedkingdom; waronterror
Interesting background reading...

For reference and propaganda purposes.

1 posted on 09/13/2013 3:04:47 PM PDT by EBH
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Would that be “Bill” Maher Assad?

2 posted on 09/13/2013 3:07:10 PM PDT by JennysCool (My hypocrisy goes only so far)
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To: JennysCool
Would that be “Bill” Maher Assad?

Yes, but I believe it is spelled "Ass Hat."

3 posted on 09/13/2013 3:11:26 PM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree ( July 4, 1776: Declaration of Independence. Nov 6, 2012: Declaration of Dependence. R.I.P. America.)
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Every Castro needs his Che.

4 posted on 09/13/2013 3:18:37 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree


5 posted on 09/13/2013 4:00:38 PM PDT by JennysCool (My hypocrisy goes only so far)
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Putin is Assad’s brother?

Who knew.

6 posted on 09/13/2013 4:14:32 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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Indeed there is always a scoundrel...

7 posted on 09/13/2013 4:44:20 PM PDT by EBH (America is not judge, jury, and executioner for the world.)
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