James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Assad’s Cousin Claims The Syrian President Tried To Have Him Killed
3 January 2019, 17:10
The exiled cousin of Bashar al-Assad has claimed the Syrian President tried to have him assassinated following an “argument” inside a Damascus hotel.
Ribal Al-Assad, a long-time critic of his cousin, told Shelagh Fogarty the alleged incident took place in 1994 following the death of Basil al-Assad - the now president’s brother.
He spoke to LBC as the UK Foreign Secretary admitted that Britain is “resigned” to Assad remaining in power and Russia gaining a new sphere of influence in the region.
Jeremy Hunt cautioned that Moscow has also taken on responsibility for securing peace in the country because of its support for the regime.
It is the first time a British minister has spoken so frankly about the reality on the ground in Syria.
Ribal told LBC he had only met his cousin once - and it ended in a “two-and-a-half hour shootout”.
“We had an argument at the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus,” Ribal said on Thursday afternoon.
“Two weeks later they sent thousands of soldiers to Damascus International Airport and they tried to assassinate me.”
LBC has been unable to find evidence of the event, but Mr Al-Assad claimed: “it was never reported in any Western media”.
When pushed for more details, Ribal continued: “I hadn’t met [Bashar al-Assad] before, he came to me and started talking and said some unpleasant things.
“I, of course, refused to take it… I didn’t expect anyone to talk to me badly or insult me.
“It was really a horrific scene at the Damascus International Airport.”
Watch the interview above...