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How does Assad survive?

July 19th, 2012
04:41 PM ET

By Lucky Gold

They really don’t believe what they saw on state television

Dutch journalist Sander van Hoorn was on the ground in Syria again on Thursday and provided an update on the confusing situation there.

Referring to Wednesday’s bombing that killed three of President Assad’s inner circle, van Hoorn said “much is still unclear and I’m afraid will stay that way.”

“I speak to a lot of people here that really don’t believe what they saw on state television.... They say it may all have been pre-recorded. So there’s a lot of doubts if the events that took place yesterday actually were really a suicide attack.”

Asked what might have taken place, van Hoorn said, “Basically, two things you hear might be true – that they (Assad’s ministers) died before and that they had to put something into motion to make it look like they were killed in a suicide blast. The other speculation is that something might have happened, right there, right then, but not a suicide. Maybe a murder by some elements of the regime against others.”

Given the uncertainty, he was asked if the regime is still in control: “Well, if you listen to the sounds they are,” said van Hoorn. “The biggest sounds are the thuds of the artillery fire. The president’s picture I guess in the suburbs they will tear it down…But here in the center of Damascus they (Assad’s pictures) are firmly in place.” FULL POST

Attacks in Bulgaria and Syria

July 19th, 2012
01:01 PM ET

The latest full-length edition of Amanpour is online: Part 1: Was Iran behind the Bulgaria blast? Israel's Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor says the country has indications Iran was behind the Bulgarian explosion. Part 2: Assassinations in Syria As Assad confidants are killed in Damascus, Christiane Amanpour talks with a reporter on the ground and a former Syrian general.

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Was Iran behind the Bulgarian bus blast?

Israel's Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor says the country has indications Iran was behind the Bulgarian explosion.

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Assassinations in Syria

Christiane Amanpour talks with a reporter on the ground in Syria and a former Syrian general.


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