Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

If only Brahimi would tell al-Assad that! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Speaking from Baghdad yesterday, UN-Arab League envoy to Syria ,Lakhdar Brahimi, urged to “halt the flow of arms to both sides” in Syria, calling on all countries that have influence over certain groups there to encourage them to move towards a peaceful solution, given that the military solution has not yielded any results.

This statement alone is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Firstly it is inaccurate, because the tyrant of Damascus Bashar al-Assad is the one who resorted to a military solution, not the revolutionaries or any external party. Likewise al-Assad is the one who has missed every opportunity, since day one, to implement a peaceful solution, even before the Syrian revolution developed into a crisis that now requires the intervention of the Arabs and the international community. When I say that Mr. Brahimi’s statement is part of the problem, this is not an exaggeration, for his remarks that “the military solution has not yielded any results” should not be addressed to the countries that are keen on Syria and its people, nor to the rebels, but rather to al-Assad face-to-face. The tyrant of Damascus is the one using warplanes, artillery and all types of heavy weaponry against unarmed civilians, whilst the revolutionaries are still pleading for the world to help them politically through the Security Council, or militarily through the provision of weapons, given that Russia and Iran have armed al-Assad throughout the crisis.

The problem with Mr. Brahimi’s statement is that on the one hand it equates between the victim and the executioner. On the other hand, Brahimi made these remarks before the media, but I am yet to find anyone to confirm they heard the same rhetoric from Brahimi personally, during his recent talks with some Syrian parties. So why issue this statement now from Baghdad, instead of from Damascus, for example, with words addressed to al-Assad himself? This is especially pertinent given that my sources confirm a senior official in Moscow delivered a very clear message to officials within al-Assad’s inner circle two weeks ago, saying that Moscow had done everything for al-Assad yet the Syrian regime had not honored its promises or implemented what had been agreed upon, and even when it did respond, it did so either too late or by distorting what had previously been agreed. Incredibly, this Russian official told al-Assad’s representative that they should not expect too much from Russia after the 7th of November, i.e. the second day of the US elections! Moscow of course is aware that there will be new realities to deal with after that date, whether President Obama is re-elected or the Republican candidate Mitt Romney assumes office.

Thus, Mr. Brahimi’s statements must be directed towards al-Assad alone if he wants to achieve a genuine solution before the 7th of November, but this is still highly unlikely. If the UN-Arab League envoy is saying what he is saying simply because he is aware that nothing will be achieved before the US elections, and he wants to say that he tried everything he could, then this is another story, and perhaps closer to the reality.