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Assad's fall only matter of time: Mood

27 July 2012, 15:10

 Oslo - It is just a matter of time before the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad falls because its use of massive force is mobilising insurgents, General Robert Mood, the former head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria, said on Friday.

"In my opinion it is only a matter of time before a regime that is using such heavy military power and disproportional violence against the civilian population is going to fall," the Norwegian general, who left Damascus on 19 July, said.

"Every time there are 15 people killed in a village, 500 additional sympathisers are mobilised, roughly 100 of whom are fighters," Mood said.

However, the authoritarian Syrian leader is probably secure in the short term because he has the military capability to hold off the rebels and his eventual fall could be months or even years away, Mood said.

"In the short term it may very well be possible for him to [hold on], because the military capabilities of the Syrian army are much much stronger than those of the opposition," Mood said.

"The minute you see larger military formations leaving the ranks of the government to join the opposition, then that is when it starts accelerating ... This could last for months or even years," he said.

Mood left Syria after his 90-day mission expired - the mandate was renewed on 20 July for 30 days - and has been replaced by Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, who has already taken up his post in Damascus.

Mood, who commanded a 400-strong mission, was unable to stop the escalating violence and said organised groups with artillery, mortars and mechanised formations were responsible for some of the violence in Syrian villages.

- Reuters


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