Syria’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, should be immediately exiled to Siberia or an isolated desert to try to save the country, declared Lebanon’s Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt, in a radio interview on Sunday.
Jumblatt, a member of Lebanon’s parliament and the country’s pre-eminent Druze strongman, was speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM or online.
“The way Assad behaves for the past four years is leading and has led Syria to civil war and the possibility of partitioning, which means endless bloodshed,” stated Jumblatt.
“Maybe the only way to save Syria from this gloomy scenario is to tell his friends, meaning the Russians, meaning the Iranians, to get him somewhere, either to Siberia or to a desert,” he said. “There is a desert not too far away from Tehran. It may save Syria from this terrible scenario.”
Regarding the precarious condition of Syria’s Druze community, which faces a major threat from Islamic rebels, Jumblatt urged them to reconcile with the Syrian insurgents since, he asserted, Assad’s regime is in tatters and cannot successfully interfere.
“It’s better to open reconciliation with the rebels because it’s an isolated village,” said Jumblatt, referring to the town of Khader, located on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.
Khader has been surrounded by rebels from the Al-Nusra Front, prompting fears of a possible massacre there.
Two weeks ago, human rights groups reported at least 20 Druze villagers were shot dead in a massacre carried out by extremist Islamist elements of the al-Nusra Front rebel force in another Druze town located in central Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that elderly Druze and at least one child were among the civilians killed in Qalb Lawzah in Idlib province.
The Al Nusra claimed the Druze massacre in Idlib was an “unjustified mistake” committed by local fighters operating loosely under its network. It vowed to put those fighters on trial in an Islamic court.
Last week, amid the heightened tensions, one Syrian was beaten to death and a second was hurt when a Druze mob attacked ambulances in the Israeli Golan Heights transporting patients who were wounded inside Syria.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attacks a “lynching” and vowed security forces would restore order in the usually peaceful Druze villages in the Golan.
Israeli police on Thursday arrested three Druze suspects in the attacks while Druze leaders in Israel have condemned the violence and have called for all future protests to be peaceful.
Israel’s Druze community have been urging the government to intervene in Syria to help the entrenched Druze towns there.