Bashar al-Assad's military machine is on the brink of collapse because it lacks petrol and food and is having problems resupplying its soldiers, according to a Syrian general who has defected to the opposition.
Much has been made of the Syrian military's supposed superiority over the opposition, but General Mohammad al-Zobi said: "The benzine is nearly finished. They are running out of rockets. There is scarcely any bread or water for the soldiers."
Zobi defected two months ago. According to Zobi, the embattled Syrian regime can last "one or two months at most". "After that, Assad will leave Syria," Zobi predicted.
The general also painted a portrait of a demoralised Assad army. Some 30% of the president's soldiers had deserted, they said, almost all of them Sunni Muslims. Those who remained were Alawites — members of Assad's ruling sect — and members of other Shia groups, convinced that Syria was descending into a Rwandan-style sectarian war.