Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told a visiting Lebanese delegation this week that the Assad regime may soon tumble under the weight of a strengthening Sunni rebellion, a Lebanese paper has reported.
“Be ready for the fall of Assad,” Sisi told one of the members of the delegation, according to the Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, in remarks translated by The Daily Star Lebanon.
Al-Mustaqbal (The Future) is a daily newspaper sold in Beirut. It was launched in 1995 by Rafic Hariri, a Sunni who at the time served as prime minister of Lebanon. Hariri was assassinated in 2005. An investigation into the matter found evidence that the Assad regime in Syria may have had a hand in carrying out the attack.
Sisi warned “of dramatic developments that could suddenly hit Syria” following the fall of Assad, and stressed that his loyalists are in “bad shape” in the face of multiple insurgent movements vying to conquer his post.
“Lebanon should endeavor to fortify itself and start anticipating how it would deal with” the fall of Assad, Sisi said, according to the paper.
Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam, a Sunni, arrived with a delegation in Egypt this week to talk about the ongoing conflict in Syria, with hopes to garner support from Cairo in dealing with Lebanon’s influx of refugees, according to a state-controlled National News Agency report. Sisi asserted his position that the Syrian Civil War should end with a diplomatic, political solution, according to the report.