Israeli minister: Syria leader out within 1 year

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2011 2:07 PM
Israeli minister: Syria leader out within 1 year

Israeli defense minister predicts Syrian President Bashar Assad will be out of office within six months to a year.

In an interview aired on CNN Sunday, Ehud Barak said the fates of deposed Mideast rulers have likely made Assad "more brutal ... it's literally a struggle for life or death."

Assad "is on a slippery slope," Barak added. "He cannot climb back."

Barak did not say whether he believes Assad would step down voluntarily or be deposed by protesters.

Assad has vowed to pursue his bloody crackdown on dissent. More than 3,500 people have been killed.

Syria's eight-month uprising against Assad has recently grown more violent, with army dissidents fighting against regime forces.

On Sunday, the Arab League rejected Syrian conditions attached to a plan to stop the violence.