Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says he believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could remain as the head of the state for years despite US expectations of an imminent fall. "I know Syria very well" and that Alawites as well as other group in the country would continue fighting against foreign-backed militants, said Maliki in a Saturday interview with the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. Maliki disclosed that US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton had told him Assad would fall "within two months." Maliki went on to say that Assad would not fall "even after two years" of the unrest that hit the country in March 2011. On Wednesday, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei also stressed that the Syrian president will remain in power, considering the fact that the Syrian people are aware of the foreign intervention in the internal affairs of their country. Ali Akbar Velayati reiterated Tehran’s support for Syria and said the Arab country was the “most important ring [in the chain] of resistance” against the Zionist regime of Israel.
The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed.The militants supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the US and the Israeli regime are trying to bring down the Syrian government. However, they have failed to topple the Syrian government due to the successes of the army and vigilance of Syrian people. Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals. DB/MA