By Aaron Klein
Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking military measures to prepare for a possible U.S.-NATO campaign against his regime, WND has learned.
While Assad struck a conciliatory tone in an interview with his state-run television network, he also instructed the Syrian military to be prepared for an air or ground campaign if the international community determines his pledges of reform are not enough.
Last week, WND first reported Turkey secretly passed a message to Damascus that if it does not implement major democratic reforms, NATO may attack Assad's regime, according to Egyptian security officials.
The Egyptian security officials said the message was coordinated with NATO members, specifically with the U.S. and European Union.
Assad has been widely accused of ordering massacres on militants and protesters engaged in an insurgency targeting his regime.
The Egyptian officials said Turkish leaders, speaking for NATO, told Assad that he has until March to implement democratization that would allow free elections as well as major constitutional reforms.
This past Thursday, Obama officially asked Assad to step down to pave the way for a democratic system in Syria.
Today, Assad states he is "not worried" about the insurgency targeting his regime.
The Syrian president repeated plans to introduce reforms to Syria. He said a committee to study reforms would need at least six months to work.
That wasn't enough for a group of opposition leaders, who convened in Istanbul over the weekend in a bid to form a transitional "national council" to govern their country in a post-Bashar Assad era.
According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND, Assad asked his military to make specific preparations in the event of a U.S.-led NATO campaign similar to the military coalition now targeting Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to U.S. President Barack Obama: Your Words Are Worthless - MEMRI
UN Rights Council Emergency Session On Syria Opens - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Assad's Next Move - BPB (Hal Lindsey)
Defiant Assad addresses Syria on TV as UN arrives in Damascus - The Guardian
Syrians say Assad rule will crumble like Gadhafi's - AP