- (Photo: Reuters/Ali Jarekji)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not remain in power much longer, his uncle has told the BBC. Rifaat al-Assad has also stated that the Assad family is "still pretty much accepted by the Syrian people."
As tensions between Syria and the international community continue to rise, it is unlikely that Assad will remain in power, Rifaat said. "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," he explained.
Daily fighting between Bashar's regime and Syrian opposition continues to take a heavy toll on the country. To date, over 6,000 people have been killed in the struggle for power. World leaders, including United States President Barack Obama has called for Assad to step aside in order to allow the country its democratic freedom.
Yesterday, it was announced that Bashar al-Assad had agreed to withdraw his forces from major cities by April 10. However, leaders, including those in the United Nations remain skeptical at any announcement from Assad.
"We have seen promises made and promises broken," U.S. representative to the U.N. and Security Council chairwoman Susan Rice publicly stated. "We have seen commitments to end violence followed by massive intensification of violence. The proof is in the actions, not the words."
Assad's uncle has urged his nephew to work with any new leaders in Syria for a peaceful transition. "I would say that he should stay [in Syria] so he can co-operate with a new government and offer the experience he has."
The Assad family, he contends, is "pretty much accepted by the Syrian people."
"A commission should go from the Arab League and the [U.N.] Security Council to monitor free and transparent elections," Rifaat added. "Then you will see that the Assad family has got much more importance and support than some of the meaningless figures [of the Syrian National Council] who we see on TV screens now."
The Syrian National Council has led the revolt against Assad's regime, meeting with members of the Arab League and U.N. to push for a transition to democratic rule. It has been recognized as the primary opposition power in the country.
The United States has even offered military supplies to the Syrian National Council. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at a "Friends of Syria" conference that the U.S. would be providing $12 million in humanitarian assistance for organizations aiding the Syrian opposition.
Satellite communications equipment from the U.S. "will help activists organize, evade attacks by the regime, and connect to the outside world," Clinton explained. "We are discussing with our international partners how best to expand this support."