Bashar Assad’s exiled uncle believes the Syrian president will not be able to stay in power, according to an interview Tuesday.
Rifaat Assad, who attempt to take power from Assad’s later father in the 1980s and now lives in exile, told BBC News that Bashar Assad help with the transition to a new government. He also suggested he would make a good replacement president.
"The problems are now general to all parts of Syria -- there are no places that have escaped violence -- so I don't think he [Bashar Assad] can stay in power," Rifaat Assad told the BBC News. "I would say, though, that he should stay so he can co-operate with a new government and offer the experience he has."
"A commission should go from the Arab League and the [U.N.] Security Council to monitor free and transparent elections," he added.
He claimed such elections would show 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."
Rifaat Assad was in charge of a military attack on the city of Hama in 1982 that killed between 10,000 and 25,000 people, according to BBC News.
And Ausama Monajed, of the Syrian National Council, said in an email to msnbc.com Tuesday that it was “true that Bashar Assad is finished,” but that Rifaat was “even worse.”
“The atrocities and massacres he [Rifaat Assad] committed in Syria, before he was forced into exile, can fill horror books! There is no way Syrians can accept him in any public position, let alone the presidency!” Monajed wrote.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the Assad regime in Syria must stop killing its people or face "serious consequences." NBC's Andrea Mitchell has more.
Meanwhile, opposition activists accused Syrian troops of shelling two cities – Homs and Zabadani -- on Tuesday in a campaign to weaken opposition forces Assad's government before a ceasefire deadline next week.
Rebel fighters also kept up their attacks, killing three soldiers in separate actions in northern Syria, activists said.
Assad has agreed to a ceasefire negotiated by international peace envoy Kofi Annan from April 10, the latest effort to end a year of bloodshed stemming from an uprising against his rule.
Peacekeepers to arrive soon
An advance team from the United Nations' peacekeeping department will arrive in Damascus in the next two days to work out how observers can monitor the truce, Annan's spokesman said in Geneva.
But Syrian opposition figures as well as Western governments have already made it clear they are not convinced that Assad, who has failed to honor previous commitments, would keep his word this time.
"He is a liar," said Waleed al-Fares, an opposition activist in Homs, a city which came to symbolize the anti-Assad struggle as opposition-held areas endured weeks of bombardments and sniper fire.
Targets in Homs were coming under shelling on Tuesday, he said. Another opposition activist, Mortadha al-Rashid, told Reuters from Damascus that the western border town of Zabadani was also taking a pounding.
"The regime shows no signs of stopping. There are people being shelled in Zabadani right now," another opposition activist, Mortadha al-Rashid said. "Where are Kofi Annan's words? Because we have never seen them on the streets."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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