In Shift, More U.S. Officials See Assad Gaining Momentum

(Wall Street Journal) Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is gaining momentum in the country's civil war with aid from Hizbullah and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future, a growing number of U.S. intelligence and defense officials believe, in what officials say is a sharp divergence from the Obama administration's long-held view. The shifting views have fueled a behind-the-scenes debate within intelligence agencies as President Barack Obama and his advisers renew consideration of options to aid anti-Assad forces, including one that would provide moderate fighters with American arms. Some intelligence analysts now think Mr. Assad could hold onto power or even prevail in the conflict. That view is at odds with those of others within the intelligence community who think recent military gains by Syrian government forces and Hizbullah fighters aren't likely to alter the overall trajectory of a conflict.

2013-06-12 00:00:00

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