Speculation Grows That Bashar Assad Has "Suffered A Stroke" As Syria Slams Trump's "Safe Zone" Proposal

Tyler Durden's picture

Geopolitical pundits were caught by surprise last Thursday when Donald Trump told ABC he would “absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people", a statement that was has been viewed as a precursor to further escalation of US intervention in the region. They were just as surprised overnight when instead of challening Trump's decision to potentially send more troops into Syria, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow may support the US initiative to establish so-called ‘safe zones’ for refugees in Syria, but added that the plan would require close cooperation with the UN and approval from Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

“If this is about the people who were forced to leave their homes by the conflict, […] getting their basic needs covered, […] then I think that the idea to create areas within Syria for those internally displaced could be discussed with the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees and other organizations,” Lavrov said cited by RT.

Lavrov said the American proposal to create secure areas for refugees within Syria was put forward in the context of migrant flows to the neighboring countries, the Middle East, as well as Europe, and “at the end of the day, the US."

He noted that the US initiative is completely different from what Western countries proposed at various stages of the Syrian war. "There have been ideas of creating some areas where an alternative Syrian government could sit, and use those areas for regime change." Such a scheme was seen in Libya, where the establishment of an alternative government in Benghazi was used as a pretext for the Western-led invasion to topple the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Lavrov explained, adding that the Libyan intervention went ahead despite no green light from the UN Security Council.

While promising, the proposal would require negotiations with Damascus to agree on the principles of creating such safe zones on Syrian territory, Lavrov added.

However, just hours after his interview, the narrative regained some sense of normalcy after the state-run Sana news agency published a statement from the government pouring cold water all over the proposed plan, and saying that any attempt to install safe zones without its consent would constitute an "unsafe action" that is a "violation of Syria's sovereignity." Syria's foreign ministry and the United Nations refugee agency had agreed on the issue during a meeting in Damascus, SANA said.

According to a document seen by Reuters, Trump is expected to order the Pentagon and State Department to craft a plan for setting up the safe zones, a move that could risk escalation of U.S. military involvement in Syria's conflict.  Rebel backers including Qatar have welcomed Trump's support for safe zones, and Turkey says it is waiting to see the outcome of the U.S. president's pledge.  As noted previosly, cCreation of safe zones could ratchet up U.S. military involvement in Syria, including increased U.S. air power to enforce "no fly" restrictions and ground forces to protect civilians in those areas.

But where things again take a twist for the bizarre, is a report over the weekend from Al Arabiya according to which news has been circulating on the internet since Friday stating that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is experiencing serious health problems. The website reports that according to some media outlets said that Assad had suffered a stroke; while others said that he was shot and has been taken to Damascus Hospital for treatment. Some details:

France’s Le Point, speculated that Assad might have been assassinated by his personal Iranian Bodyguard Mehdi al-Yaacoubi, going so far as to say that he shot him in the head.


Lebanese newspaper, al-Mustaqbal, quoted “reliable sources” as saying that Assad suffered from a cerebral infraction and was transferred to Damascus Hospital where he is being treated under high security.

As for the Saudi newspaper Okaz, Assad is suffering from a “brain tumor.” He tried to cover up his illness through short and frequent appearances. According to its sources, Assad is being treated by a Russian-Syrian medical team on a weekly basis, adding that he has undergone medical tests when he was in Moscow in October.

Furthermore, pro-Syrian regime Lebanese newspaper al-Diyar reported on Friday that Assad suffered from a stroke, but later denied the news.  There were also rumors that Assad is at the American University Hospital (AUH) in Beirut. However, Al Arabiya contacted the hospital and no information on the issue was given. Al Arabiya has also tried to contact Damascus Hospital, but there has been no response.

On the other hand, in a statement carried by the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic page on Facebook, Syrian authorities said that such rumors were incorrect.

While the rumor remains unsubstantiated, the death of Assad is sure to complicate any political resolution in Syria, as it would immediate promp both sides in the proxy war to present their handpicked candidates ahead of an election for the country's next president as suddenly the political - and not military - process will become the pathway to decide who has veto rights over any potential Qatar nat gas pipeline crossing the nation and entering Europe. If so, expect Rex Tillerson to be very busy over the coming months as Syria once again becomes a primary object of US diplomacy in the middle east.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
lolmao500's picture

Word is he was in the hospital for a couple of days but he s alright now

knukles's picture

Sterling silver Tiffany drool cups work wonders

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Is this good or bad?  Is McCain sad or happy?

CheapBastard's picture

Setting these up as a dry run experiment for settin gup safe zones in Shitcago, detroit and th eother deadly inner cities that Obama fueled into even more violence during his 8 failed years.

Jim Sampson's picture

Don't let the bad guys (U.S. and friends) win, please don't let the bad guys (U.S. and friends) win.

ne-tiger's picture

F safe zone, Trump, , don't pull Hillary on us!

NidStyles's picture

So did they try to kill him or what?

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Saturday's phone call trascript:

Trump: 'Vlad, Europe is yours, do watever you need with the mofos"

Putin: 'Good deal Don, it is a pleasure working with a true businessman, Middle East is yours, do what it takes with the goat fuckers."

Trump: "It is good doing business with you Vlad, deal closed!"

Putin: "Deal closed Don, artistically as per your book! You"ll get shortly our sign-off like true Russian business customs require, don't worry will come short at you via the public news. Have a nice weekend sir!"

Trump: "Same to you sir!"


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Luc X. Ifer Jan 30, 2017 2:22 PM

So something is wrong with Assad's head and it may have fallen off.  Is that right?


Occident Mortal's picture

Hmmm... The Syrian regime seems to believe that it is invincible having seen off Obama's bluffs.


Wonder how long that delusion will last?

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Short infrequent appearances are probably good for your health when the CIA is running around your country like bed bugs.  He might get Kennedy CIA treatment if he showed his face more

wildbad's picture

Assad is right, Safe zones are the camels nose under the tent. it makes it safe for conquistadores only.

sorry Donald, wrong on this one.

joe6px's picture

I think it is a good idea, if it is the Russians who implement the plan on the ground.  They are there by invitation and can work with international funding/backing.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Agreed, sounds like "safe spaces" and "gun-free zones" -- what do the guards carry there?

Luc X. Ifer's picture

What Lavrov says makes complete, logical sense. If internationally sanctioned trough UN vote solution is addopted why not?! Both US and Russia would be bound by the UN act to get together and implement and support the measures as agreed upon, that's the power of negotiating in the open.

ThanksChump's picture

Fuck the UN.


Syria belongs to Syrians. Stay out unless you're invited, Mr. T. Don't Hillary out now.

I'll come over and establish safe zones in your bedroom if you're having trouble understanding why that was a stupid suggestion.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

I don't agree with simplistic reductionist thinking, that's not how it works in reality of negotiating between two military enabled sides. If the agreement is clearly in the favour of Syrian people and with clear bounds to be advanced towards the benefit or the Syrian people it is more then welcomed. I'm sure 100% that Russia, China and Iran wouldn't sign it off if tney wouldn't see it as such, must one be ludicrous to see it otherwise.

musimann's picture

He's going straight into the zionist war monger shitter. When you surround yourself with joo and neocon retreads - well that is what kind of foreign policy we are going to have with Trump. Basically he lied to us - and there goes his support.

BarkingCat's picture

Indeed. If he goes into Syria then 75% of what I considered positive about Trump is instantly vaporized. 

Only way to go into Syria and not lose the safer than Hillary moniker would be if he pulled troops from Eastern Europe and went into Syria as part of a team that is led by Russia.

pot_and_kettle's picture

usually pretty happy when he's not escaping jet fuel infernos following hijinks on aircraft carriers

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Sterling silver Tiffany drool cups work wonders"

That was a good one knuks! ;-))

TwelveOhOne's picture

Yeah especially if they chew on them!  (Think, bubonic plague.)

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

News, what is it good for?  The MSM and all others, just like the little boy, has cried wolf a gadzillion times too many.

wren's picture

If Moscow supports Trump's safe zones, Syria will comply.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Lavrov said that if it's OK with Damascus ( Dr. Assad and his multi ethnic, multi religion, multi gender group of ministers ) then it's OK by Russia.


Regarding Dr. Assad's health, I guess the Saudis need some bullshit lie to deflect the fact that much of the royal family has twin turbo AIDS.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


Regarding Dr. Assad's health, I guess the Saudis need some bullshit lie to deflect the fact that much of the royal family has twin turbo AIDS.

...and to distract people away from today's Houthi attack on a Saudi Navy frigate with an anti-ship missile.


Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Absolutely hilarious to see a fighting force without a navy take out ship after ship there.

blue51's picture

Maybe Rex Tillerson is helping to negotiate some Exxon/Halliburton/Gasprom/Rosneft deals . Both sides share . Petrodollar lives another day. Good book , some day

War Machine's picture

There is no need for 'safe zones' - there is a need for destroying the ISIS proxies' supply lines from Turkey, Jordan, and Israeli-Occupied Golan.

CIA is almost certainly still providing weapons. And there is no argument that these are not going to mostly foreign terrorists:


Trump's backing by Sheldon Adelson and his heavy use of his Likud-connected son in law should raise serious concerns with any America Firster no matter how much you back Trump.

US special forces are in NE Syria, illegally, not that it matters: Israel gets lots of cheap gas from Iraqi Kurdistan and supports an independent Kurdistan as well as the Balkanization of Syria. As for pipelines: Qatari gas would compete with Israel's {stolen, but US-aided} gas from Golan and the Leviathan find.

Study up on the Oded Yinon plan. Adelson and Netanyahu want US blood and treasure to pay for it.

And remember the USS LIBERTY


DownWithYogaPants's picture

Somebody is funding the ISIS twats pretty well.  War is expensive.  I just wonder if it is the USA or Saudi ????


 Syria’s Central Bank is state-owned & controlled – In other words, it manages its national currency so that it serves the Syrian people and not the Rothschild-controlled global bankers operating from their New York, London, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Basel and Paris hideouts.

Opps.  Maybe you know who is funding ISIS through one of its puppets

BorisTheBlade's picture

As for the Saudi newspaper Okaz, Assad is suffering from a “brain tumor.” He tried to cover up his illness through short and frequent appearances. According to its sources, Assad is being treated by a Russian-Syrian medical team on a weekly basis, adding that he has undergone medical tests when he was in Moscow in October.

Saudis have no reason to wish Assad's death, no-no. Especially after they agreed to foot the bill for these safe zones.

Akzed's picture

Oh thanks for clearing all this up.

GraveDancer's picture

Book> The Road to World War III: Can the Dark forces of anti-Freedom trump Humanity?
Kindle> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MT31AXZ

BarkingCat's picture

OK everyone, go to Amazon and give this shitty book one star.

TwelveOhOne's picture


I tried to engage the author in conversation but he just keeps spamming.  

There's another author here who I have engaged in conversation and also enjoyed his book, "Thieves' Emporium" -- in fact, it was our conversation that encouraged me to begin writing the "alert me when someone replies to a ZH comment" that I'm currently working on.  Sam.Spade if memory serves.  Which it rarely does as I'm recovering from multiple concussions and also getting older so I'm not certain from which issue the forgetfulness arrives...

TwelveOhOne's picture

Oh, and -- don't forget to leave a review!

Wulfkind's picture

What poisons and/or other substances introduced into food / drink / air can cause stroke like symptoms ?

svayambhu108's picture

>What poisons and/or other substances introduced into food / drink / air can cause stroke like symptoms ?


Other than GMO corn ?

knukles's picture

Raw unpasteurized cow's milk.  That's why Agenda 21 is so important.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Mountain Dew?  I can believe that.


general ambivalent's picture

You can bet Trump's CIA funding will be going to new methods of this.

Wulfkind's picture

After doing some research I figured it was a dose of Stychnine introduced into a Monster Energy drink.  Especially how Monster tastes....you would never know the Strychnine was there.

TwelveOhOne's picture

As I learned from Tim Powers' fictional book "The Anubis Gates", if you find you've been poisoned with strychnine, each some charcoal.

Reptil's picture

Bashar Assad, with all his faults, has stood up for his people, where most "rulers" would've transported their money to some swiss bank account and made an exit.

Krungle's picture

The Saudis even offered him a bribe to leave. After they unleashed ISIS, mind you. 

oldguyonBMXbike's picture

I knew the deal from the start and I have to say that Assad is probably my favorite world leader.  He has handled this entire situation with class and dignity.  I admire him and I admire very few people in this insane world.

Took Red Pill's picture

The MSM as well as many US politicians paint Assad as this barbaric mass murderer. But if you listen to him speak, he's very reserved and soft spoken. He's a medical doctor who was elected by the Syrians. Common sense tells you we're being fed B.S. in order to overthrow yet another ME country.