May 31, 2013 – Assad Warns Israel, Claiming a Stockpile of Russian Weapons: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria displayed a new level of defiance on Thursday, warning Israel that he could permit attacks on the Golan Heights and suggesting that he had secured plenty of weapons from Russia — possibly including an advanced missile system — as his opponents faltered politically and Hezbollah fighters infused force into his military campaign to crush the Syrian insurgency. Pictured above, forces of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, in Qusayr on Thursday. Syrian rebels under siege near the Lebanese border pleaded for help.
Mr. Assad spoke in an interview broadcast on Al-Manar television, which is owned by his ally Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite militant group, further punctuating his message of growing confidence that he could prevail over an insurgency that is now more than two years old and has claimed more than 80,000 lives.
“This is a low point,” said Amr al-Azm, a Syrian-born history professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio who tracks the opposition. “Unlike earlier screaming matches, you have a bad military situation on the ground and Geneva is looming and the opposition has nothing to play. This is as bad as it gets.”
Both the United States and Russia face difficult prospects in getting the Geneva talks even to begin. Representatives of the organizers are expected to meet in Geneva on June 5 to discuss details, including a concrete date. Click the link below for the complete story.
The Master of Disaster