The blast that killed Assef Shawkat on July 18, 2012 along with the Minister of Defense Daoud Rajha and Hisham Ikhtyar (Bakhtiar) has somewhat crippled the Assad family because it also took a leg and an eye from Maher al-Assad.
Today, Syria is run by just two and a half Assad men in Baschar, Maher, and Hafez Makhlouf, Baschar’s maternal uncle. The real fox, outside the immediate family, is a man named Mohammad Nassif Kheir-Bek. Without him, the Assad family would disintegrate because he is the brain behind the regime.
No doubt Iran would fill any vacuum but if we want Assad to capitulate to international pressure, it is imperative that Kheir-Bek be captured to weaken further this regime of terror.