U.S. intel: Syrian regime could survive 2012 with backing from China, Russia, Iran

The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that a fragmented opposition and powerful foreign support could sustain the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout 2012.

Officials said the assessment took into account the strong military, intelligence and financial support the Damascus regime has received from China, Iran and Russia.

The U.S. intelligence assessment has determined that Assad faced increasing resistance to his regime by Sunni fighters and thousands of deserters. But the assessment concluded that Assad’s military and security forces were sufficiently powerful to ensure regime survival for at least the next year.

“It could be a long time,” National Intelligence Director James Clapper said. “The opposition appears fragmented.”

The intelligence assessment, issued at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 31, marked the first high-level assertion by Washington that the Assad regime remained resilient.

Continue reading article: U.S. intel: Syrian regime could survive 2012 with backing from China, Russia, Iran (World Tribune)

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