Today’s bombing attack in Damascus is a dagger in the heart of the Assad regime, Hussein Ibish writes on the Daily Beast.
Even if the regime survives for many months, or possibly years, today’s bombing will likely be remembered as the beginning of the end.
As has been the case from the outset of the uprising, everything the regime does to violently suppress the rebellion only strengthens it by undercutting support for the government and increasing sympathy for the rebels. An intensification of conflict might buy the government more time, but only deepens the likelihood that it cannot survive, even in a greatly modified form.
It’s hard to overstate the extent to which this will be both a practical blow to the regime’s campaign by removing key figures and an enormous psychological and symbolic catastrophe for the Assad dictatorship. It is reported that the bomber was a trusted security officer, possibly even from Assad’s own bodyguard. The message is clear: no one is safe and nowhere is inaccessible to the rebels.
The regime still, in theory at least, has enormous military means at its disposal to crush dissent. …..But significantly, this bombing comes in the context of the opposition’s touted “Damascus Volcano” offensive, in which the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups are consolidating their forces around the capital in an effort at either a decisive battle or a major psychological victory.