The beginning of the end for Assad

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria suffered a devastating blow on Wednesday with the killing in Damascus of three leading figures in his regime. The deaths – which included that of the Syrian defence minister – do not mean his regime is yet finished. Mr Assad still retains huge firepower to deploy against rebels who have been fighting him for 16 months. But the killing of such high-ranking members of the Syrian power elite is an immense psychological setback. It cannot be long now before Mr Assad himself – in one form or another – departs the scene.

In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s events, several questions will be asked. First, how will the Assad regime react? Having suffered such a heavy loss, it may well respond by increasing the violence against rebel forces beyond the appalling levels we have already seen. THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT FTIMES