March 16, 2005
Coup in Syria?
UPDATE 3/17 pm: Publius Pundit has word from Syria that everything seems normal and that this information is probably false.
DAMASCUS REBELLION UPDATE:Interesting.....
No newspapers are getting in or out of Syria, the media is controlled very tight, and the Syrian scene witnessed a dramatic, security deterioration the last 24 hours.
Precise Intelligence reports coming from Syria indicated massive army troops deployment around the capital Damascus. Most of the military Barracks of the Syrian Army around Damascus gave allegiance to the dissidents: Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan and General Ali Safi. These people in the Syrian Army were against the withdrawal from Lebanon.
It is known that President Bashar Assad is in the city of Alleppo, assessing the internal situation within Syria and trying to organize a "forced" return to Damascus.
We will provide you with additional details as soon as we have them.
[NOTE: The Syrian military General backing Ghazi Kanaanâ€™s movement is General Ali Safi and not Madi as originally reported by error.
The Lebanese Foundation for Peace apologizes for this error of publishing.]
The Intelligence Hour for Syria and Lebanon
Special Flash: Damascus, Syria
A Coup d' Etat took place in Damascus late last night. Intelligence reports coming from within the Syrian Military Command indicate the following:
A rebellion split The Syrian Army in two factions .
Since yesterday , Damascus is under the de facto control of the Syrian Army, under the command of Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, and supported by Syrian Intelligence General Rustom Ghazaleh, Syrian military General Ali Safi, and Firas Tlass son of former Minister of Defence, Mustafa Tlass. The group rebelled against the decision of President Bashar el Assad to withdraw from Lebanon and seized the Damascus military yesterday.
Around 3 am, Damascus time, the Syrian Air Force bombarded two military airfields around Damascus, the Air force base of Dumair, and the Air force base of Katana. Also, late night around 3 am, the Syrian Air force bombarded military positions of the Syrian Army west of the city of Homs.
President Bachar el Assad retreated secretly to the city of Aleppo where he is temporarily holding ground. He is massing special forces troops loyal to him and preparing himself to take back Damascus by force .
The Syrian President left in Damascus his brother in Law, Syrian Military Intelligence Chief General Assef Shawkat to negotiate a settlement with the dissidents. The situation within the Syrian military was very tense for a week and exploded yesterday. The dissident group took control of Damascus as they were very upset at the Lebanon withdrawal for they left behind a billion dollar industry.
UPDATE: Very late....getting slammed (for this time of night) with Google hits for word combinations of "military coup Syria" "Syrian coup" "Damascus coup" etc......
....something is afoot.
UPDATE II: No confirmation. Perhaps this is just a case of rumors flying and we're simply reinforcing those rumors by publishing them?