Iraq's Maliki: Assad could hold on for years

Syrian President Bashar Assad could survive two more years of revolt, despite US expectations of a more imminent fall, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was quoted as saying on Saturday.


In an interview in Cairo with the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq al-Awsat, Maliki, a Shi'ite Muslim, is seen as close to Assad's main ally Iran. "I know Syria very well," he said, adding that Assad's minority Alawite sect would fight alongside other minority groups against rebels, which include Sunni Islamist militants. (Reuters)