The regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad will not survive and will eventually collapse under the pressure of demonstrations in his country. This is the assessment of Israel's military establishment - and this view is gaining strength.
A senior security source told Haaretz this week that "Assad is becoming weaker. It may take a few months, or a year or more, but the regime will probably fail to recover. Forty years of rule by the Assad family are on their way to coming to an end."
"Assad has lost his legitimacy in the eyes of his people and therefore his fate is sealed. Every week of demonstrations and deaths only makes things more difficult for him. His dilemma is between further concessions to the demonstrators - which will be seen as weakness and will lead to an intensification of efforts to bring him down - and the adoption of more aggressive means of suppressing the demonstrations, which may accelerate his fall. I do not think he has a chance against the opposition. This is the twilight of his rule," the senior defense source said.
Israel borders Syria, of course, and is thought to have a view straight into Damascus from the Golan Heights. Until now, the Israelis have been cautious with regard to Syria, knowing that strongman Bashar al-Assad will do just about anything to maintain his power. This new view from the Israeli military community signals a pretty big shift.
Today, so far, "Syrian security forces shot dead at least 34 demonstrators," Haaretz reports in a separate article. Approximately 1,200 protesters have been killed by so-called security forces in the last few months of unrest.