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Mr. Yadlin said the Druze, an Islamic offshoot, is a particularly reliable bellwether for predicting Mr. Assad’s future.

“The Druze have a very good smell of where things are going,” he said. “If I don’t see the Druze deserting him, he will still be there.”

Mr. Yadlin said the “most problematic parameter” for Mr. Assad is Syria’s “unsustainable” economy, noting the tourism and foreign investment the country has lost and international sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU.

However, he added, Iran, another close Syrian ally, could rescue his economy.

“If the Iranians take care of it and write him a check for $5 billion a year, he is safe,” Mr. Yadlin said.

He also predicted that Hezbollah militants in Lebanon would feel little impact if Mr. Assad were ousted because of Syria’s declining influence with the anti-Israeli terrorists.

“It used to be Syria controlling Hezbollah and Iran helping. Now it’s Iran using Syria as a corridor — as a pipe, as an agent — to help Hezbollah,” he said. “So instead of sending weapons through Damascus International Airport, they will do it through Turkey or through the Mediterranean. It’s less convenient, but it won’t dry Hezbollah.”