Skip to main content

Damascus Spring?

Layla M., on the ground in Damascus, reports that amid sporadic artillery fire and power outages, with helicopters whirring overhead, residents verged on jubilation. But the city was a ghost town Wednesday night, hopes tempered by fears ranging from economic paralysis to chemical weapons.
Free Syrian Army members, with covered faces and holding weapons, sit by the side of a street in Qaboun district, Damascus June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer     (SYRIA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY)

DAMASCUS, Syria — Has Damascus' spring come?

They're calling it "Zero Hour" here in Damascus as the clock on the Assad regime appears to be counting down. The only question on so many lips is when, not if, the 49-year-old Baath regime and its leader of the past 11 years, Bashar al-Assad, will fall. The bomb that exploded during a secret "crisis cell" meeting of the regime's key officials on Wednesday has already wiped out the Syrian’s regime's top military and government brass, and rumors abound that the president himself has been seriously wounded — if not killed. Assad's failure to make any public address or appearance has only heightened public feeling that his once iron grip has been loosened.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.