Of course they would say this but note the warning to Israel. The essential Anthony Shadid in the New York Times:
Syria’s ruling elite, a tight-knit circle at the nexus of absolute power, loyalty to family and a visceral instinct for survival, will fight to the end in a struggle that could cast the Middle East into turmoil and even war, warned Syria’s most powerful businessman, a confidant and cousin of President Bashar al-Assad.
The frank comments by Rami Makhlouf, a tycoon who has emerged in the two-month uprising as a magnet for anger at the privilege that power brings, offered an exceedingly rare insight into the thinking of an opaque government, the prism through which it sees Syria, and the way it reaches decisions.
Troubled by the greatest threat to its four decades of rule, the ruling family, he suggested, has conflated its survival with the existence of the minority sect that views the protests not as legitimate demands for change but rather as the seeds of civil war.
“If there is no stability here, there’s no way there will be stability in Israel,” he said in an interview Monday that lasted more than three hours. “No way, and nobody can guarantee what will happen after, God forbid, anything happens to this regime.”
Asked if it was a warning or a threat, Mr. Makhlouf demurred. “I didn’t say war,” he said. “What I’m saying is don’t let us suffer, don’t put a lot of pressure on the president, don’t push Syria to do anything it is not happy to do.”
His words cast into the starkest terms a sentiment the government has sought to cultivate — us or chaos — and it underlined the tactics of a ruling elite that has manipulated the ups and downs of a tumultuous region to sustain an overriding goal: its own survival.
Mr. Makhlouf suggested that economic reform would stay primary.
“This is a priority for Syrians,” he said. “We have to ask for economic reform before speaking about political reform.” He acknowledged that change had come late and limited. “But if there is some delay,” he added, “it’s not the end of the world.”
He warned the alternative — led by what he described as Salafists, the government’s name for Islamists — would mean war at home and perhaps abroad.
“We won’t accept it,” he said. “People will fight against them. Do you know what this means? It means catastrophe. And we have a lot of fighters.”