Reports that a new cabinet and an anti-terror law to be announced within the next couple of days. Meanwhile the interior ministry has announced that it has eased restrictions on a range of paperwork to no longer require approval by the intelligence services.
انباء عن ان حكومة جديدة وقانون مكافحة الارهاب قد يتم الاعلان عنهما خلال يومين ووزارة الداخلية تلغي الموافقات الامنية عن بعض المعاملات الشخصية
Analysis: Damascus suburbs are on fire. Duma in a 3 day general strike, and other towns held solidarity protests too today, and amazingly there was a protest by 200 students at Adab faculty at Damas university; the first time that’s happened since our grandparents still had black hair. In Aleppo it’s quiet but tense, with reports that some, mainly Kurdish towns are protesting. Bashar was in Hasakeh today to offer the kurds concessions in order for them to keep their mouths shut and their people off the streets, no idea if that worked or not as the Kurds are fairly fractious with 9 main parties and a dozen smaller ones. Word is the Turks told him to keep a lid on the Kurds or else. Turkey most definitely does not want a Kurdish insurrection on it’s borders.
Things do not look like they’re dying down, on the contrary the protest movement is being ratcheted up a notch with promises that Wednesday, Thursday (AlBaath founding anniversary) and Friday will be full of protests. If big protests do materialize then the regime will be entering formally into panic mode, with the kind of desperate concessions that Tunisia and Egypt had at the start of their revolutions. I doubt a much harsher crackdown will be tried because the regime fears that powers which have so far kept semi-silent, like Turkey, Qatar and the U.S and the E.U will not tolerate a full scale massacre, but you never know, wounded animals are always dangerous and unpredictable.
Note the above addition of Qatar, which in recent circumstances in the region has grown to become “a king maker” due to it’s formidable AlJazeera media station, as well as it’s clever diplomacy and vast funds. No doubt Qatar is playing a big role in Syria, as evidenced by the visit of it’s prime minister to Syria a couple of days ago. Syrian activists have been so far dismayed and angry at it’s dismal and anemic coverage of the Syrian revolution, and have openly called it biased towards the regime. Such coverage is very important in swaying local, Arab and international sentiment in favor of one side or the other. Of course this could all easily change in an instant pursuant to the delicate checks and balances and backroom diplomatic deals. For the time being, the Syrian regime is being given the time and space to try to maneuver itself out of this situation. Both carrot and stick are out, promises of reform on one hand, with security efforts at containment on the other. However, the countdown has begun and the end game is in sight, although what it will look like or what new Syria will emerge out of it is still anyone’s guess at this time.