Syrian president uncle says regime will downfall

Published November 17th, 2011 - 08:28 GMT
Rifaat Assad
Rifaat Assad

Rifaat Assad, President Bashar Al Assad's uncle has claimed that the Syrian people needed a strong, stable hand to end the crisis - suggesting he could be the man. The former Syrian vice president and military strongman who many say he has blood on his own hands, was speaking from his exile in Paris.

The 74-year-old told the AP: "We are going to bring him down. Even if it takes time and is difficult, I am going to work to topple the regime and give power to the people."

Rifaat, who also attempted and failed to take power from his brother in the mid-1980s, described his nephew as weak and ill-suited for power. He added that Bashar should return to his medical practice.

And he stated he said he had "heard many voices in Syria, the Arab world and even beyond that the crisis in Syria can only be resolved by Rifaat Al Assad". Rifaat said he would support international military intervention in Syria, insisting it should involve a combination of Arab League forces and UN peacekeepers. According to him, he would return to Syria to oversee a transitional government until elections could be organized - and then step down.

Rifaat claimed the Assad clan was the only one that could bring stability to the country: "The people want the Assad family," he said.


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