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Turkey To Assad: Fire Your Brother

An emissary on behalf of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to arrive in Syria in the next 24 hours with a “warning message” to President Bashar Assad, al-Arabiya reported Saturday.

According to the report, Ankara is demanding that Assad fire his brother Maher, considered the strongman behind the brutal suppression of the Syrian uprising that claimed an estimated 1,300 lives so far. Ankara is reportedly willing to take Maher in, or help in finding a shelter for him elsewhere in Europe.

Following the brutal violence against protestors in Syria, media outlets worldwide published feature stories about Maher Assad, characterizing him as the “bad cop” of Syria’s regime. Observers estimate that President Assad will be increasingly relying on his brother and his forces should the upheaval in the country escalate.

According to the al-Arabiya report, Turkey demands that “Maher Assad be removec from all positions of government power” via dismissal from the army. A Turkish source said that Ankara is willing to guarantee that Maher will not be prosecuted should he depart in the framework of a rapid, in-depth process of political reform.

“Even if part of the Syrian people is still willing to accept Bashar as the address for carrying out reforms, the overwhelming majority can no longer accept the presence of his brother, Maher Assad, and the military men under him,” the report said.

(Source: Ynet)

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