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Saddam Hussein captured in his bunker, 2003 (Wikipedia)

President Assad has escaped to a bunker, pro-US media announces

President Bashar al-Assad "has escaped to a bunker at Khmeimim base" as the US escalates its threats to carry out military strikes against Syria.

Published: April 13, 2018, 8:12 am

    This was revealed when Assad received an Iranian official at Khmeimim air base in a room that has neither windows nor drapes, according to footage obtained by The Baghdad Post.

    Analysts asserted that the president was being protected by Russians and Iranians, and prohibited from communication to prevent revealing his location, but other reports contradicted the Iraqi source.

    Earlier, The Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was spotted departing from the presidential palace in Damascus, according to “well informed sources”. The sources say that he was accompanied by Russian military units.

    Hezbollah fighters are said to have evacuated their positions nearby Tiyas Military Airbase in Homs, Syria, anticipating an imminent US attack, amid reports that American forces are preparing to strike.

    The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman is the lead ship of the US strike group, which also includes the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and the guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 28: USS Arleigh Burke, USS Bulkeley, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut, according to the Military website.

    The German frigate FGS Heschen also will accompany the strike group for the first part of its deployment despite Berlin’s announcement that it will not take part in the military attack on Syria.

    The deployment raises questions about a possible motive for the US-European joint attack over the latest unsubstantiated claims of a “chemical” incident in Douma. The Syrian government has denied responsibility and Russian sources say there are no traces of chemicals at the site.

    France’s President Emmanuel Macron meanwhile says he has “proof” that the Syrian government attacked the town of Douma with chemical weapons last weekend, but offered no such evidence.

    He said he would decide “in due course” whether to respond with air strikes. President Donald Trump vowed “Animal Assad” would pay “a big price” for the attack.

    The American bluster about Assad’s “bunker” echoes a US operation conducted on 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr, Iraq, near Tikrit, that led to the capture of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from his bunker.

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