According to information from Reuters protesters in Deraa have been chanting slogans against Bashar al-Assads brother, Maher al-Assad. Claims are that Maher al-Assads forces took part in the killing of protesters in Deraa. This might be a rumor, but it would also explain the statement from Buthaina Shaaban:
“We should not confuse the behaviour of an individual, and the desire and determination of President Bashar al-Assad to move Syria to more prosperity,”
If Maher al-Assad, one of the most influential persons surrounding Bashar al-Assad, a hardliner who in the past has not balked at using brutal force to quell protests and who has been named as a possible suspect in the killing of Rafik Hariri, is indeed involved in what happened in Deraa, then we might be looking at a power struggle inside the Corleones of Syria.