Syria ‘Disintegrating Under Crippling Sanctions’
One of Syria’s leading businessmen says its economy is being crippled by foreign sanctions and that the government is slowly disintegrating.
Faisal al-Qudsi, the son of a former Syrian president, told the BBC the military action could only last six months and then there would be “millions of people on the streets”.
But he said President Bashar al-Assad’s government would fight to the end.
The 11-month uprising against Mr Assad has claimed thousands of lives.
Human rights groups have put the figure at more than 7,000, while the government says at least 2,000 members of the security forces have been killed combating “armed gangs and terrorists”.
The violence continued on Saturday, when Syrian troops fired on mourners during a funeral that turned into a mass demonstration in Damascus. Activists say at least one person was killed there and some 20 across the country.
The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Beirut, says a number of very well placed people, Americans among them, believe it will be economic factors that bring the regime down, because the political ramifications of economic failure would be significant.
Mr Qudsi is a very well-placed source, heavily involved in Syria’s economic liberalisation and from a family with a long political tradition, so when he says the business community is deserting the regime, that is significant, our correspondent says.
Speaking to the BBC’s Weekend World Today programme, Mr Qudsi said the economy had been crippled by sanctions and that although Iran was sending money, it was not enough.