Saturday, May 19, 2012

Who is running the show in Syria?

I received a detailed report from a Syrian with contact inside the regime.  It has been confirmed to me that the Russian government (through its intelligence service) is running the show.  Qadri Jamil is playing an increasingly important role (the Russians want him as prime minister).  I am told that Bashshar's orders are no more followed or implemented: that, yes, the regime is still resilient and that there are no defections to speak of despite generous offers of Saudi and Qatari cash but that there is intense in-fighting within the regime.  I know of one assassination by regime mukhbarat agents against a Syrian who had too much information about the contacts of Hafidh Makhluf.  It is, in short, a mess and the poor Syrian people are caught between vicious warriors, local, regional, and international.