Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad — who shocked the world last week with his use of deadly chemical weapons on rebel forces — has fled the country with his family, sources tell retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Paul Vallely.
“I got a report in he's already left with his family for Tehran this morning,” Vallely told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax.
“He is backed into a corner now. He needs to be taken down.”
See the Malzberg interview below.
Vallely, chairman of Stand Up America, a non-profit, public-policy think tank, called Assad, “just as bad as Hitler. Over 100,000 people killed so far, a lot of children.
“The fact you'd use gas on your own people and attack them indicates that the international community needs to take charge and do something. They laid back with Hitler and look what happened.”
Vallely had no further information on Assad’s evacuation to Tehran, but said that his sources were accurate.
In a separate interview with Newsmax TV’s Kathleen Walter, Vallely said
the Assad regime can be crushed in about 30 days if its air force is “neutralized” and palace “taken down” – and without a massive U.S. military invasion.
Vallely — who also founded the Syrian Opposition Liaison Group, created in conjunction with the Free Syrian Army and Stand-up America – said Syrians believe Americans are “the only ones they have confidence in helping out the situation.”
“With the use of proper targeting we can change that situation,” he insisted. “What we're advocating, based on the Free Syrian Army, is that they can bring Assad down in about 30 days if the air force is neutralized and that can be done by cruise missiles -- we do not need any boots on the ground, the Defense Department has the targets in place now.”
See the Newsmax TV video below.
Vallely explained the Free Syrian Army is a force of about 100,000 that does “not want Syria to become a radical Islamic state.”
“They are the first ones to defect from the Assad regime in order to protect a lot of the attacks on the civilian population of Syria… they control most of the landscape and geography in Syria right now,” he said.
“The biggest problem is they cannot bring Assad down because of the air force bombing of them and the civilian population -- of course last week then the use of the sarin gas chemical weapons.
“They are made of many retired generals, colonels, as well as professors, doctors, and a good cross section of Syrian society they want to make sure that the Syrian government as it is the tyrannical government is brought down.
“So that's why it's important that the air fields in the air force be taken out as well as the palace in my opinion, the two major targets.”
Vallely said the “attack mission” itself would not take long.
“I would say in 24 hours they can neutralize all the targets, some eight air fields,” he maintained.
“They do not have to hit the chemical munitions locations because once the air force is taken down, the Free Syrian Army knows where the storage is and inventory of the chemical weapons is and they will basically lock down those sites and prevent Assad forces from moving those chemicals to the air force for delivery.”
But Vallely warned the Obama’s administration is wrong in not wanting to not push for a change in regime.
“It’s very unwise,” he said of the strategy. “Because first of all, you have a regime just like Hitler killing innocent civilians… with hundreds of thousands of refugees leaving the area…. It is a tremendous tragedy that’s going on over there. But we can help by neutralizing the air force and then providing supplies to the Free Syrian Army.”
Vallely blasted Russia’s warning against taking military action.
“There are Russian advisers in there that are helping Assad putting together the sarin gas,” he charged. “We had a report from [an] inside agent in Syria that the Russians and the Iranians have technicians there.”
“It takes about two hours I guess to prepare the sarin for the rockets that they can launch from the ground or from their aircraft, both helicopters and jets,” he added.
“So from that standpoint, Iran may try to do something but Israel's standing by; they're on alert right now and so they can intercede as necessary.”
Vallely blamed Russian “advisors” in Syria and Assad government officials for “a great propaganda campaign of deception,” blaming opposition forces for the nerve gas attack on civilians last week.
He insisted opposition forces “don’t have that capability.”
“And, first of all, the opposition forces will not take it out on the civilians, whereas we know Assad has crossed the red line four times,” he charged. “I reported last year the use of the chlorine gas and provided videos on that. So this has been an ongoing thing. As Assad gets backed into a corner, his only strength, really, is the air force and the use of that air force against the civilian population. There's plenty of documentation on that that we've seen over the last year.”
Vallely, who served in the Vietnam War and retired in 1993 as Deputy Commanding General, Pacific Command, said al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood will continue to “create terror supported by Tehran throughout the West.
“So anything that we do or not do, they're still going to continue with the global caliphate and establishment of Sharia law. And all of the records and intel that we've been able to gather over the years just validates this each time,” he said.
“Obama doesn't want to make the same mistake that he made in Egypt by backing the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood now have moved their operations, for the most part now, into Syria. And so they want to establish that as a Sharia-type government …
“My team is the only team that's been there meeting with the Free Syrian Army. I also met with Al-Jazeera. I met with a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood last time I was there. So I have completely vetted out who are the good guys and bad guys.”
Vallely noted that although Assad controls three major areas -- the Latakia province, the Tartus province – both on the Mediterranean “where the Russian ships come in from the Black Sea” -- and about half of Damascus.
“The rebel opposition forces control the other parts,” he said. “I went through probably 200 kilometers within Syria and the Free Syrian Army checkpoints and all that controlling the movement is critical to stabilizing the civilian population.
“And I can tell you the civilian population is backing the Free Syrian Army.”
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