WWADN: What Will Assad Do Next?

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In anticipation of a military strike both sides are bombarding the airwaves. And while Barack Obama looks for congressional certainty, Bashar al-Assad looks to sow doubt. Each is seeking to send messages directly to a war-weary public. We ask for insight from a cousin of the Syrian President.



How might Syria respond to a U.S. military strike?

"I'm not a political commentator. I comment more on action, rather than word. At the same time, if I want to care about something like this, I would care about what the Syrian people wants. Nobody else outside Syria is part of our political map".

Bashar al-Assad interviewed by Barbara Walters 2011

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have thought the Americans were outside his political map when he gave that interview two years ago, but that could soon change -- with unknown results.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is clearly worried enough about a U.S. strike against Syria by warning of consequences in an interview with CBS & PBS' Charlie Rose.

 

wwad-250.jpg

US Secretary of State John Kerry said today
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a
military strike by turning over all his chemical
weapons within a week but immediately made
clear he was sure that would never happen.
(Reuters/Susan Walsh)

This week, U.S. President Barack Obama will get his message out. He's scheduled for a one-on-one interview with 6 U.S. networks today. All to convince Congress to approve a military strike in retaliation for Syria's purported use of chemical weapons last month outside Damascus.

Washington has a number of military options. But how Syria might respond, if it responds at all, is not clear.

Ribal al-Assad on The Current -- From the Archives

Ribal al-Assad has an intimate knowledge of the Syrian regime. He is the exiled cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He thinks President Assad will likely shrug off any U.S. strikes and cling to power at any cost. Ribal al-Assad joined us from London, England, where he runs the Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria.

As far as predictions go, history might be the best crystal ball. Joshua Landis has a rich knowledge of Syria's past.He is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He writes an influential blog called Syria Comment. He was in Norman, Oklahoma.


Have thoughts you want to share with us?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc or e-mail us through our website. And you can always call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always, if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Vanessa Greco.


Bashar al-Assad's Instagram Account

We've been talking a lot today about the inner workings of the Syrian regime -- a government that's been condemned internationally and blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians.

But all that is a far cry from the image Bashar al-Assad wants to put forward. As we mentioned, photos posted to the Syrian President's Instagram account show him waving to welcoming crowds and the First Lady doing lots of good deeds.

Here are a few photos from Bashar al-Assad's Instagram account.

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