According to an interesting article on Blomberg Businessweek, Bashar is not really in control of his security forces. The article says that
“Power at the top in Syria is compartmentalized,” Lesch said in an e-mailed response to questions. “While Bashar is certainly in control and ultimately responsible for all actions by the government, there are fiefdoms of power that react convulsively when their area of authority is activated.”
This guy has let security forces off the rope and is not able to control them anymore. He is ultimately responsible for what he did and should face criminal charges by the ICC.
[…], a U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said that Assad’s comments indicated that either the Syrian president is a “tool” or he is “completely disconnected” from reality.