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Syrian President's Cousin Denounces Violence


One man who's been watching developments in Syria more closely than most, has a curiously familiar-sounding name. Ribal al-Assad is President Bashar al-Assad's first cousin. He also supports efforts to depose him. His view, from exile in London, is grim.

RIBAL AL-ASSAD: Everybody is arming. Everybody is following violence. Nobody wants to sit together and have dialogue. Everybody is really, in to win. Everybody is really after power. This could lead to the disintegration of Syria and its society, and everybody will lose out.

We are very close to, also, a regional war. As you know, Turkey's army is in state of alert. The Jordanian army, as we have heard - that there have been clashes, you know, from time to time between the Syrian army and the Jordanian army. The Israeli army is in state of alert. The Saudi army is in state of alert. The Iranians have said that they will support the regime of Bashar al-Assad to the end - which is very scary.

STAMBERG: Ribal al-Assad, the first cousin of Bashar al-Assad, speaking with us from London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.