Farouk al-Sharaa, only Syrian leader who wanted compromise
"Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, who was replaced in the ruling Baath party’s leadership Monday, was the only top Syrian official to advocate a political compromise to the country’s bloody civil war.
President Bashar al-Assad appointed Sharaa, now 74, to the Baath party’s leadership in 2000.
He was one of the last vestiges of the regime’s old guard and the most powerful Sunni Muslim figure in Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, but will retain his office as vice-president, a post he has held since 2006.
In an interview with Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar in December 2012, Sharaa spoke out against Assad’s military campaign to crush the uprising, saying that Assad “does not hide his desire for a military solution that achieves a decisive victory”.
“No rebellion can bring an end to the battle militarily. Just as (operations) of the security forces and units of the army will not bring an end to the battle,” he said.
In the interview, he also revealed that while Assad held all the key powers in Syria, there were differences of opinion within the political elite, but not to the extent that they were “deep divisions”.