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Assad's Cousin: Syria Will 'Fight Until the End'

10:49 AM, May 10, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Syrian regime is pledging to fight until the end, as protesters continue to take to the streets across the Arab nation. "We will sit here," a cousin of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad said, according to the New York Times. "We call it a fight until the end."

The comments were made by a Rami Makhlouf, who the Times calls "Syria’s most powerful businessman, a confidant and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad...a tycoon who has emerged in the two-month uprising as a lighting rod for anger at the privilege that power brings."

Beset by the greatest threat to its four decades of rule, the ruling family, he suggested, has conflated its survival with the existence of the minority sect that views the protests not as legitimate demands for change but rather as the seeds of civil war.

“If there is no stability here, there’s no way there will be stability in Israel,” he said in an interview Monday that lasted more than three hours. “No way, and nobody can guarantee what will happen after, God forbid, anything happens to this regime.”

Asked if it was a warning or a threat, Mr. Makhlouf demurred.

“I didn’t say war,” he said. “What I’m saying is don’t let us suffer, don’t put a lot of pressure on the president, don’t push Syria to do anything it is not happy to do.”

Hundreds have already been murdered by the Syrian regime over the last month or so of protests. And these comments by Makhlouf indicate that the regime is willing to murder many more. As Makhlouf said, "The decision of the government now is that they decided to fight."

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