Is it the end for President Bashar al-Assad?


A brazen attack, a fog of rumour, conflicting reports and conjecture have replaced the certainty of President Bashar al-Assad's rule. And for supporters of the opposition: hope and celebration.

Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

Part One of The Current


It's Thursday July 19th.

An American man was detained by US border guards at the Canadian border after they discovered he had six chocolate kinder eggs, which are illegal in the US.

The eggs were taken by the CIA for enhanced interrogation...but they refused to crack.

This is The Current.

Is it the end for President Bashar al-Assad? - Syrian Opposition

We started this segment with some sounds of celebration from the streets of Aleppo yesterday. State Television confirmed an attack deep within what was supposed to be the most secure confines of the regime, the room in the capital Damascus where senior officials meet to plan and execute the fight against those who would topple them.

Damascus used to feel like an island of stability in Syria, then the bomb: killing President Assad's brother-in-law who was his closest security adviser, the minister of defence, an aide to him, and the crisis management chief, the most senior Christian official. State TV also said the Interior Minister and the intelligence chief were in hospital. Al Arabiya news channel reported the interior minister dead
In a matter of hours, Damascus moved from normalcy, to uncertainty: shops and schools closed. People hurried home.

A military building burned, angry pro-regime forces were reported in some sectors, opposition forces in others. Outside the capital today, the fighting continues. With some reports - impossible to confirm - of an attack involving a helicopter on a funeral procession with scores dead.

A corner has been turned. The Assad regime's grip on power is at the least loosened, maybe this is even the beginning of the end. Bassam Bitar is a former Syrian diplomat. He served in the Syrian Embassy in Paris from 1979 to 1986. He was fired from his post for being critical of the Syrian regime and he is now part of the Syrian opposition abroad. Bassam Bitar was in Fairfax, Virginia.

Is it the end for President Bashar al-Assad? - Syrian Social Club

Ammar Waqqaf has a different view of where Syria is heading right now. He's a member of the Syrian Social Club, which is a group that advocates for reform and not regime change in Syria. Ammar Waqqaf was in Cordoba, Spain.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Pacinthe Mattar.

Other segment from today's show:

Egypt's First Lady, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud

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