NEW YORK – On the eve of a critical Capitol Hill discussion on Syria and two days before his address to the nation, President Obama has offered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a way out of any U.S. bombing campaign.
Informed Middle Eastern intelligence officials tell WND the U.S. passed a message to Assad through Russia offering a deal that would ensure against U.S. military action if the Syrian leader agrees to the following terms:
- Serious political reforms that will result in free and fair presidential elections.
- Assad will not be allowed to run in future presidential elections and agrees to step down from power.
- An international committee will supervise control of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
- The international community, with U.S. participation, will help rebuild the Syrian army and security services to guarantee participation from all factions of the population. The model for this reorganization is the so-called Dayton plan that has been overseeing the restructuring of the Palestinian Authority security organizations and militias.
The Middle Eastern security officials told WND that Russia has already objected to the term that bars Assad from running in future presidential elections.
The security officials further stated the U.S. believes Assad will likely reject the deal.
The officials said Russian, North Korean and Iranian experts continue to prepare Syria’s military and missile arsenal for the possibility of war, including the contingency of firing missiles at Israel, Jordan and Turkey.
As WND first reported, Iranian and North Korean experts are directing an operations room for the Syrian army ahead of a possible showdown with Western powers, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The Iranians and North Koreans, based inside Syria, are focusing their efforts on ensuring the viability of Syria’s air defense systems while maintaining the embattled country’s vast missile arsenal, the officials said.
The officials said Iran has gone so far as to pledge soldiers to Syria if such mercenaries are needed in a confrontation.
Russian military experts are also participating in the preparation efforts by advising the Syrian army, but Moscow has not met the expectations of Assad’s regime regarding the extent of their involvement, the officials said.
The Middle Eastern security officials further told WND they have information Iran failed to convince the Hamas command in the Gaza Strip to fire rockets into the Jewish state in the event of a Western attack on Syria.
The officials believe that if a Western attack against Damascus is surgical and is carried out without the goal of regime change, the Syrians may not retaliate against Israel.