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Assad may opt for war to escape Russian, Arab, European ultimatums

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DebkaFile
August 30, 2011

Monday night and Tuesday, Aug-29-30, three international heavyweights – Russia, the European Union and key Muslim nations – gave Syrian President Bashar Assad tough ultimatums for ending his ferocious crackdown on protest. Nevertheless, on Monday, his troops shot dead 17 people in Syrian cities – even as he received Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov who arrived in Damascus with a last warning from President Dmitry Medvedev: Recall you soldiers to their bases immediately and implement changes or Moscow will endorse UN Security Council sanctions stiff enough to stifle the Syrian economy.

Those sanctions are only a step away from a resolution authorizing NATO, together with Muslim and Arab nations, to intervene militarily in the Syrian crisis.

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources disclose that Turkey, as a NATO member, and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have been in discussions this past week on the form this intervention would take:

1. The long-considered Turkish plan to send troops into northern Syria and carve out a military pocket from which Syria’s rebels would be supplied with military, logistic and medical aid.

2. Ankara and Riyadh will provide the anti-Assad movements with large quantities of weapons and funds to be smuggled in from outside Syria.

3. The Turkish military incursion would be matched by Saudi troops entering southern Syria at the head of GCC contingents. They would move in via Jordan and establish a second military enclave under GCC auspices.

The third option came up in Tehran last Thursday, Aug. 25, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad heard some straight talk from the visiting Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 1:46 am





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