Source: Assad Could Fund 6 More Months of War - World Watch
The U.S. government says President Bashar Assad’s grip on power in Syria is coming loose, with rhetoric from the highest levels in Washington suggesting the dictator will soon fall thanks to his own poor decision-making and intransigence.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Sunday that Assad’s continued use of heavy weapons and aggressive military tactics against opposition fighters - which often results in civilian deaths - “makes clear that his regime is coming to an end.” But he did not give a timeframe.
On Friday, multiple sources at the U.S. Departments of State and Treasury told CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan that Assad’s regime was literally running out of money to keep up the fight.
According to these officials, the regime has spent about half of one large fund used by the Syrian government as a virtual piggy bank, and is rapidly running out of domestic currency. But again, the officials did not say how long it was believed Syria’s cash reserves might be able to sustain Assad’s government - and with it his brutal fight against the rebels.
Now, a well-informed Syrian source tells CBS News the government likely has enough money left - in foreign currency and gold - to fund the fight for another six months.