Assad's uncle: Syria's regime will fall

"The problems are now general to all parts of Syria," so "I don't think he can stay in power," Rifaat Assad tells BBC.

April 3, 2012 18:40
1 minute read.
Syrian President Bashar Assad at polling station

Syrian President Bashar Assad at polling station 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/SANA)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Rifaat Assad, the uncle of Syrian President Bashar Assad, told the BBC Tuesday that his nephew will not last in power much longer.

Rifaat was exiled from Syria in the 1980s after a failed coup attempt against Bashar's father, Hafez, when the elder Assad was still ruling Syria and recovering from a heart attack.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Rifaat contended that the level of violence on the streets was too high and too widespread to be contained. "The problems are now general to all parts of Syria - there are no places that have escaped violence - so I don't think he can stay in power," Mr. Assad told the BBC.

Before the failed coup, Rifaat had loyally served the regime. In February 1982, he famously suppressed an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood in Hama, leaving 10,000-25,000 dead.

Mr. Assad attacked Bashar's accession to the presidency in 2000, upon Hafez's death. He called the succession a "real farce and an unconstitutional piece of theater," according to the BBC. He believed that he was Hafez's rightful successor.

Click for full JPost coverage

On the other hand, contradicting the demands of the Syrian rebels, the exiled Assad said that at least for a transitional period Bashar should "stay so he can cooperate with a new government and offer the experience he has."

Rifaat alluded to still wanting to rule Syria himself suggesting that if there were free and fair elections that "you will see that the Assad family has got much more importance and support than some of the meaningless figures [of the opposition Syrian National Council] who we see on TV screens now." Notably, he said the Assad family, not Bashar.

Syrian rebels have called for sanctioning Rifaat Assad along with the rest of the Assad family because of his past crimes.

Related Content

July 19, 2018
Pro-Assad villages evacuated in deal with Syrian rebels