Syria fratricide update from trusted source. London and MI6 have hold of General Ali Dubah of the Syrian Air Force, who defected last week to give up the secrets of the al-Assads and to pose a deal for the regime change in Damascus. Ali Dubah offers Rifaat al-Assad, exiled brother of the dead king Hafez al-Assad. London favors this choice because it would team a restored Alawite regime with elements of the Sunni urban elite and also with the Druze of Lebanon and Syria — the one constituency that London trusts in the region.
Paris and Saudi elements (ancient Crown Prince Sultan and his lean, hungry son Bandar) have a sharply different approach to regime change. They want Khaddim, the Paris-defected vice president who now routinely goes on French TV and rats out the al-Assads as the Macbeths of Damascus. Khaddim wants the crown for himself, and this would ally him with the Moslem Brothers (slaughtered by Rifaat al-Assad in 1982) and with the tribals of the Iraq border region. Khaddim would also continue the insurgency in Iraq in order to maintain the loyalty of the black marketeering tribals. The Saudi elements like this solution because it would keep Iraq in turmoil. Any stable democratic Iraq threatens the Arabian plutocrats.
Doomed, penniless Egypt likes a Sunni urban elite, tribals, Moslem Brother solution as well, but not with the regicidal traitor Khaddim. Hosni Mubarak wants to maintain the clumsy Bahsar al-Assad in power in order to demonstrate that a weakling son can succeed a bullying father, establishing an Ummah precedent for Hosni passing his throne to half-pint Jamal Mubarak without civil war on the Nile.
Iran has gory appetitites too, to maintain the insurgency and keep Iraq bootless; but Iran also worries about losing its access to Damascus and the HizbAllah Shiites of southern Lebanon, so Iran must make a deal with whoever wins in the Damascus daggerfest.
London versus Paris. MI6 versus Deuxieme Bureau. Cairo versus Riyadh. Iran vs. London, Paris, Riyadh. Cairo vs. Cairo. And the United States is completely beside the point, a non respected player, a muscle boy with might and fight but no harem spy cunning. These are the days of the secret war for Syria. Expect daggers, bombs, demarches, betrayals, and a fight to the finish of the brothers al-Assads.
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H/T to National Review Online