Bashar al-Assad's brother Maher, the feared commander of the Syria’s 4th Division and the Republican Guards, was severely injured in last month's Damascus blast that killed three members of the president's inner circle. according to a report in Saudi paper al-Watan (Arabic) that it says is based on an interview with Russia’s deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
Bogdanov also reportedly claimed that the president is willing to step down and what's needed is a peaceful mechanism for the transfer of power.
It seems surprising that Bogdanov would choose to reveal such information to a Saudi paper.
Well hahaa... Russia outside of unsc, they are nobody.... hahahah....they lose a lots...no more unsc, no veto...Russia no power....! gosh... Our friends are wining!
The Guardian's Luke Harding, recently returned from Syria,writes for Comment is Free that the perception that Syria is engulfed in a sectarian conflict is true to an extent "but the reality is more complex".
... Just over the border, I meet Thaer Abboud, an opposition activist who fled to Turkey from Syria last year. Abboud is an Alawite from the Mediterranean coastal town of Latakia. Some observers have suggested that Latakia and its surrounding mountain villages could form an Alawite heartland, with the regime and army retreating from Damascus and setting up their own an impregnable mini-state there. Abboud, however, says that far from being a loyalist Alawite fiefdom Latakia is split. Some 50% of the town oppose Assad, including some Alawis, a number of whom have been persecuted: "It isn't a matter of Alawis versus Sunnis. It's a political thing. In Syria we don't have separate communities. There are marriages, relationships between Sunnis and Alawis. We've lived together for 1,000 years. We're not dependent on religion .
Abboud agrees that Assad has played the sectarian card, telling Syria's Alawites that without him they were finished, and evoking historical memories of Alawite oppression by both the Ottomans and the French. "Assad's message is: 'If the regime stays you live. If we go you will be killed.'" In reality, Abboud tells me, all parts of Syria have been ground down, by the regime's callousness and feudal arrogance.(I highlighted).