Shaul Mofaz, head of Israel’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, on Monday hoped the Sunni majority in Syria would take power, ending the domination of President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority, an outcome he said might bring an end to Syria's alliance with Shiite Hizbullah and Iran.
"The Sunnis are more moderate and this is good for Israel as it opens a possibility of future peace talks and preserving the quiet," Mofaz said in an interview with Agence France Presse.
"I think that Bashar al-Assad will be overthrown from the government in Syria," he said. "The processes that are happening there are very momentous, very serious."
It was just a matter of time until the Syrian army started deserting in droves, which would spell the end for Assad, he said.
"On the day that desertions begin, not just one soldier but thousands ... it will start to crumble for him. The moment things start to crumble, Assad won't be there long.
"It will happen because it is not normal for soldiers to shoot their own people."
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that 1,342 civilians have been killed in the government's crackdown and that 342 security force personnel have also died.
Syrian military spokesman Major General Riad Haddad put the security force death toll at 1,300.
On Saturday French daily Le Figaro quoted a Western expert closely following up Iranian-Syrian ties as saying that Hizbullah was moving its arsenal from Syria over fears that the anti-Assad demonstrations would lead to regime change.
The expert confirmed that Western intelligence had monitored an alleged movement of trucks from the Syrian border to eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa valley.
The trucks are allegedly transporting Iranian-made Zelzal, Fajr 3 and Fajr 4 rockets that the Shiite party had amassed in depots in Syria.
Le Figaro said that Hizbullah’s logistics units based in Syria were helping the party move its arsenal.
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