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TROUBLES MOUNT FOR SYRIAN REGIME
The Baathist military regime in Syria is internally divided, unpopular, and increasinglyfrom Syria's Araband an attempt way
aade at any time to oust Minister Amin al-Hafiz.
Factionalism within the ruling National Council of the Revolutionary Command (NCRC) derives from differencesmoderate and doctrinaire approaches to the Baath's Arab socialism as well as fromrivalries. Hafiz has attempted toroader power base by trying to moderate the strict Baathist doctrine. He has also made overtures to various non-Baathlst and anti-Nasir political groups. These moves nay have succeeded only in alienating the moreNCRC members.
The most likely leader of any move to unseat Hafiz is the deputy prime minister. Major General Mohammed Umran.
z probably is ny of these move-
Umran, like Hafiz, now reportedly has moderated his approach to Baathist socialist!].
necessary to move against
The roglme has beenby its estrangement from Iraq since the mid-November army coup in Baghdad and the new Iraqi Government's gradual rapprochemont with Naslr. Syria became further isolated by Hafiz1 overly militant approach to the Israeli problem at the recent Arab summit conference, which antagonized most other Arab government leaders. press statements attributed to Syrian Leaders indicate that the regime now may realize how precarious its position is and be seeking, at least outwardly, some limited rapprochement with Nasir.
At home the Damascushas tried to win someby taking an increasingly pragmatic approach to Syria's economic problems. It hasa liberalisation of controls on foreign trade and the establishmentimited free market in foreign exchange. It hopes these moves will ensure Syria's eligibility for Monetary Fund credits as well as mollify the domestic business community. No firm assurances against furtherhave been offered, however, and the regimehas gained little if any popular support.
INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY