Tags: syria | regime | military | strikes

Regime Families Said to Flee Syria Ahead of Western Military Strikes

By    |   Monday, 26 Aug 2013 04:58 PM

The families of senior figures in President Bashar al-Assad’s government were said to be fleeing Syria on Monday night, ahead of an anticipated U.S.-led strike against regime targets, Israeli Television reported.

The families of some of the heads of the regime were flying out of Bassel al-Assad Airport in Latakia, a Mediterranean port city in western Syria, Channel 2 News said. The airport is named after the Syrian leader’s late older brother, Bassel. He had been slated to follow their father, Hafez al-Assad, as president, but died in a 1994 car accident.

Israeli media Monday night assessed that a U.S.-led strike on Assad regime targets was all but certain in the wake of an alleged chemical-weapons attack last Wednesday in which government forces killed hundreds of civilians outside Damascus. The Channel 2 report said Washington was thought likely to give Israel advance warning of any such strike to enable Jerusalem to prepare for any repercussions.

The same TV station reported earlier that last Wednesday’s chemical shells were fired by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, a division under the command of Bashar’s brother, Maher Assad.

A senior Syrian official on Monday issued a first direct warning that if attacked, his country would retaliate against Israel.

Khalaf Muftah, a senior member of Syria’s ruling Baath Party, said in a radio interview that Damascus would consider Israel “behind the [Western] aggression and [it] will therefore come under fire.

“We have strategic weapons and we’re capable of responding,” he said. “Normally the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.”

His words were echoed by Iranian officials. ”No military attack will be waged against Syria,” said Hossein Sheikholeslam, a member of Iran’s Islamic Consultative Assembly. “Yet, if such an incident takes place…the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria.”


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The families of senior figures in President Bashar al-Assad's government were said to be fleeing Syria on Monday night, ahead of an anticipated U.S.-led strike against regime targets, Israeli Television reported.
syria,regime,military,strikes
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2013-58-26
Monday, 26 Aug 2013 04:58 PM
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