Assad seen winning back territory; U.S. intel ‘on Syria was totally wrong’

Officials said the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been briefed of the likelihood of an Assad victory that would end the more than two-year revolt in Syria.

The officials said Israeli preparations could include military reinforcements in the Golan Heights and northern Israel as well as additional aid from the United States.

“I always thought that it might be the case that at the end of the day Assad, with a very strong Iranian and Hizbullah backing, might gain the upper hand,” Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said. “And I think that this is possible and I thought that this is possible already a long time ago.”

In a briefing on June 10, Steinitz became the first senior Cabinet minister to raise the prospect of an Assad victory. Steinitz, a former finance minister regarded as close to Netanyahu, indicated that Israel did not share U.S. assessments in 2012 that Assad had been on the verge of collapse.

Instead, Steinitz, regularly briefed by Israel’s intelligence community, said he envisioned massive foreign help to save the Assad regime. He said Assad’s military and security forces would capture rebel-held territory throughout Syria.

“He might not just survive, but even regain territories,” Steinitz said.

“There was heavy pressure by the Americans for the [Israeli] intelligence community to fall in line with U.S. assessments,” a Western diplomatic source said. “Now, the Israelis are shocked that the assessment of the Americans on Syria was totally wrong.

Full article: Assad seen winning back territory; U.S. intel ‘on Syria was totally wrong’ (World Tribune)

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