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Israeli official: Syria is dying, the funeral will be declared in due time

Assad, he will be remembered in history textbooks as the leader who lost Syria, Amos Gilad, Ya’alon’s strategic adviser says at intelligence conference

Syrian President Bashar Assad waves to supporters in Damascus. (photo credit:REUTERS)

TEL AVIV – A senior Israeli defense official said President Bashar Assad controlled just a fifth of Syria and may end up in charge of a rump state dominated by his minority Alawite sect.

Israel and its neighbor Syria are long-term enemies, but the remarks by Amos Gilad, director of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau at the Defense Ministry, reflect concerns by states across the region that Syria is undergoing a de facto partition after four years of civil war.

“Syria is gone. Syria is dying. The funeral will be declared in due time. This Bashar Assad, he will be remembered in history textbooks as the one who lost Syria,” Gilad told an intelligence conference organized by the Israel Defense journal on Monday.

“Until now he has lost 75 percent of Syria … He is, practically, governor of 20 percent of Syria. And his future, if I may predict it, is shrinking all of the time. And maybe we will have him as the president of ‘Alawistan’,” Gilad added.

Since March, Assad has steadily lost territory in the northwest, south and central Syria to an array of groups including Islamic State, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, and rebels who profess a more moderate vision for Syria.


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