Is Al Assad sick or dead?
There are growing rumours in the Middle East that Syrian Dictator Bashar Al Assad has suffered a stroke, and could be near death.
With any secretive regime it is difficult to know exactly what is happening, so nothing can be confirmed at this point. But it is notable that talk of Al Assad being ill has swept the region and is being picked up by numerous media outlets.
Syrian government denies report of Bashar Al Assad Stroke
The rumours have reached such a level that the Syrian regime was forced to respond. In a statement, the Syrian President’s office said, “The presidency denies all these reports. President Assad is in excellent health. They (news media reports) coincide with the changing circumstances in the field and politically.”
“The Syrian people had become immune to such lies,” the statement concluded.
Other rumours say Al-Assad has a brain tumour, or has been shot in the head by his Iranian bodyguard.
Syrian TV personality says Assad is sick
Adding to the growing rumours, Syrian TV celebrity Faisal al-Qassim says Al Assad is very sick.
Qassim tweeted, “I assure you my sources say that Bashar Assad is bedridden but not unconscious. Severity ratio 70%.”
Assad’s death, or permanent incapacitation would severely complicate an already complex situation. Assad has kept his regime together through a combination of sheer ruthlessness and the help of Russia, pushing back against rebel attacks and re-taking much of the country.
Without Assad, Russia would still continue their support of the Syrian government, as they stand to benefit by maintaining access to their naval base and military connections with Syria.
However, with Assad gone the rebels may feel emboldened, and worldwide pressure may increase to intervene. That pressure likely won’t get far though, since cooperation between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin could bolster the Syrian government and put an end to both the rebels, and ISIS in Syria.
So, even Assad’s death may not change the fundamental situation in Syria.
Only Assad can end the rumours
At this point, only a public appearance by Bashar Al Assad could quell the rumours of his incapacity or death. We will see whether that happens.
Photo – Twitter