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Al-Assad and guaranteeing health - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Anybody who thinks, for a second, that the tyrant of Damascus will abide by any agreement or pledge is delusional. Indeed, not just delusional but also jeopardizing the Syrian people by seeking to grant al-Assad one opportunity after another. It is completely unacceptable for the international community and Arab world to accept – following the efforts of Lakhdar Brahimi – meaningless oft-repeated words and a mere Eid ceasefire! This is a truly unfortunate state of affairs!

Al-Assad’s massacres against the Syrian people are ongoing and taking place on a daily basis, and he is being openly supported in this by Iran and Hezbollah. At the same time as this, Mr. Brahimi is talking about a ceasefire, and that is truly astonishing! Ceasefires take place between the armies of two countries, not between a regime that rules with iron and fire and warplanes, utilizing the aid of Iran and Hezbollah, to suppress its own people, and then talk about a ceasefire! What al-Assad is doing is a crime, and he must be punished for this, not granted a ceasefire!

When Mr. Brahimi says that a ceasefire will reduce the number of people being killed, rather than this figure increasing, the question that must be asked here is: do we want to protect lives or merely reduce the number of people being killed? More to the point, is the loss of innocent lives just a question of numbers? By which we mean that the killing of twenty is acceptable, whilst the killing of one hundred is not? This is truly astonishing!

Therefore when we say that anybody who believes al-Assad is delusional, or seeking to grant the tyrant another opportunity, this is no exaggeration! For whilst the people of Syria are being mercilessly killed at the hands of the al-Assad regime forces, we find the tyrant of Damascus issuing a presidential decree organizing research and development in the field of genetic engineering “in order to guarantee the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment” according to the official state news agency. The state news reported added that “the decree aims to set the framework for research and development in genetic engineering in Syria…by setting guidelines for the import, export, transportation, production, circulation and use of genetically-modified organisms and their products.” Is there anything more absurd than this, particularly as the number of Syrians killed at the hands of the al-Assad regime forces now stands at 35,000? So does this regime care about humanity, for it to care about animals, plants and the environment? If this is not ironic, then what is?

Therefore, we must be aware that al-Assad accepting a ceasefire would be nothing more than a new maneuver, particularly as the opposition has already rejected this. In addition to this, al-Assad requires more time to facilitate the redeployment of his militias, as well as to allow his forces to catch their breath. We must also pay attention to the French statement that half of Syria today has been liberated. Therefore, what Mr. Brahimi should be working towards today is not a ceasefire lasting just a few days, but rather the departure of Bashar al-Assad, and then after this how to bring the tyrant before the International Criminal Court! If the UN envoy, or anybody else, says that this is impossibility, then our simple answer is: this is what we expect! For this reason, Mr. Brahimi must announce the failure of his mission, and put the ball in the court of the international community once more, rather than repeating the same mistakes made by Mr. Kofi Annan in Syria, namely granting al-Assad another chance!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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