Depending on who you talk to, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may only have 36 hours left.
Fox News reported that a State Department official had forwarded the media outlet a message from an unnamed Middle East and social media analyst who they said advises the department. The State Department did not immediately respond to GlobalPost requests seeking to verify the authenticity of the message and its source.
The message appeared to use trending Twitter terms to estimate that Assad's regime might collapse within the next two days. "Tweet trends on #Damascus indicate something will collapse in #Syria next 36 hours," the message said, according to Fox. "Looks a lot like Tripoli did a year ago."
Fox claimed that the analyst was comparing current trends to similar online activity before the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. See their full account in the video below:
More from GlobalPost: Gaddafi coverage highlights
Other Syria analysts have used more traditional measures to make their predictions of the regime's durability, giving Assad anywhere from weeks to undecided stretches of time left in power.
But the consensus seems to be that it's unlikely the Syrian regime will "withstand the pressure it is under...indefinitely," Jeffrey White, a defense fellow for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told CNN. Obama administration officials are preparing contingency plans for the regime's collapse, according to the New York Times, with particular emphasis on the chemical weapons the Assad regime is believed to possess.
Judith Miller, a journalist and Fox commentator, said that the next 36 hours are crucial in determining the fate of Assad's regime, primarily depending on what action the Syrian military is ordered to take, and whether they will stand with the president.
More from GlobalPost: Syria: Is the Bashar al-Assad regime crumbling?