Senior NATO official says Assad will go

MOSCOW Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:35pm IST

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre R) meets women working in the Islamic education sector and preachers in mosques and Islamic institutes, in Damascus December 11, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/Sana

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre R) meets women working in the Islamic education sector and preachers in mosques and Islamic institutes, in Damascus December 11, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.

Credit: Reuters/Sana

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is unlikely to be able to stay in power, a senior NATO official said on Friday.

Knud Bartels, a Danish general who chairs NATO's Military Committee, also said the Western alliance was drafting plans for safeguarding Syria's chemical weapons stocks if Assad stepped down or was forced from power.

"You may say I am maybe assuming that Assad will disappear. I tend to believe that this is indeed the case," Bartels said after a meeting in Moscow.

Answering a question about strategies over the conflict in Syria, he said NATO's greatest concern was over the security of Turkey, which borders Syria.

NATO agreed last week to send Patriot missiles to Turkey to protect it against the threat of missiles from Syria and the alliance's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said on Thursday that Assad's government was nearing collapse.

(Reporting By Gabriela Baczynska, Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel,; Editing by Timothy Heritage)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

SpiceJet Bail-Out

SpiceJet Bail-Out

Co-founder of SpiceJet seeks time to finalise rescue  Full Article 

Regulating Airfares

Regulating Airfares

India considers temporary cap on airfares - government official  Full Article 

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

British tsunami brothers use funky footwear to help children.  Full Article 

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Xiaomi raising over $1 bln from investors including GIC - source.  Full Article 

Porn Crackdown

Porn Crackdown

China arrests thousands in porn, gambling crackdown - Xinhua.  Full Article 

India v Australia

India v Australia

Boxing Day test of India's resolve in Melbourne.  Full Article | Related Story 

Jaycee Charged

Jaycee Charged

China charges Jackie Chan's son over drug offence.  Full Article 

China on Cyberattacks

China on Cyberattacks

China condemns cyberattacks, but does not mention North Korea.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage