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"Days numbered" for Assad regime -- German Intelligence chief

BERLIN, Aug 11 (KUNA) -- The days of the Assad regime are "numbered" and the Syrian army is near "collapse" especially after heavy crackdowns from the opposition and many defections within the army lines, German Intelligence Chief Gerhard Schindler said on Saturday.
In a press statement to "Die Welt" newspaper, the chief noted that the Syrian opposition war tactics in the cities as well as the many defections suffered within the Syrian army would lead to a definite collapse of the Assad regime.
"There are many indications that the regime is getting to its end," he noted. "The Syrian army has lost 50,000 troops so far." According to latest German intelligent data the number of the opposition fighters has reached more than 20,000. This huge number makes it difficult for the Syrian army to suppress the fighters.
Schindler clarified the Islamist groups are not controlling the battle in Syria since they are considered a "minority." However, there are other stricter groups that fight along the lines of the opposition and they are believed to be affiliated to Al-Qaeda. (end) anj.nfm KUNA 111301 Aug 12NNNN