Fall of Assad 'a matter of time'
27 July 2012
The fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is just "a matter of time", according to the former head of the UN mission to Syria.
Norwegian Major General Robert Mood told Reuters that it was impossible to imagine the current regime remaining in power but that the fall of Assad would not necessarily mean the end of the 16-month conflict.
"In my opinion it is only a matter of time before a regime that is using such heavy military power and disproportionate violence against the civilian population is going to fall," he said.
"Every time there are 15 people killed in a village, 500 additional sympathizers are mobilised, roughly 100 of whom are fighters" said Mood, who has been replaced in his UN role by Senegalese Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye.
Mood added that the Assad government was "secure" in the short term, as the military capability was enough to hold off rebel forces, suggesting his eventual fall could take several months or "even years".
"In the short term it may very well be possible for him to (hold on), because the military capabilities of the Syrian army are much much stronger than those of the opposition," he said.
Assad recently refused the Arab League's offer of safe passage out of Syria in the wake of a fatal bombing on 18 July which killed several members of the Syrian president's inner circle.