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No success whilst al-Assad remains in Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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What was said in Geneva by the majority of international forces that have taken a decisive position towards the crimes being committed by Bashar Al-Assad was beautiful, and this includes what was said by Mr. Kofi Annan himself. However despite this, we cannot expect any plan regarding the Syrian revolution to succeed, and this includes the plan discussed during the Geneva summit, so long as al-Assad is not just in power in Syria, but also present on the ground.

The statements issued by some western foreign ministers, including the British Foreign Secretary, were clear, explicit and decisive, towards al-Assad. British Foreign Secretary William Hague stressed the necessity of the UN Security Council issuing international sanctions against the al-Assad regime, under Chapter VII. However even if Moscow responded to the international pressure, and accepted the formation of a national unity government without al-Assad there is no hope for success so long as the tyrant of Damascus remains present on Syrian territory, particularly as al-Assad is well-versed in manipulating any agreement, voiding such agreements of their content. This is what he previously did in Iraq, as well as Lebanon. Al-Assad also excels at prevaricating and stalling, and this is not to mention the lies that he has told every day in Syria, since the outbreak of the revolution.

Since approximately 18 months ago, when the Syrian revolution broke out, the tyrant’s regime has not put forward a single solider – let alone officer or official – for trial for the crimes that have been committed against the people of Syria, whilst it has also failed to live up to its promises of reform. In fact, everything that the al-Assad regime has done has been part of a grand deception with the objective of strengthening the ruling regime and punishing the people of Syria. Of course, al-Assad was responsible for voiding Mr. Annan’s first initiative of all of its content, and he failed to adhere to even one of its points, in the same manner that he did with the previous Arab initiatives. Therefore, after all this, how can anyone believe that he will permit a national unity government – that he is not a part of – to be formed in Syria, even if the international community could come to an agreement on this and Moscow approves? Do we believe that al-Assad will be another Ali Abdullah Saleh? This is extremely doubtful.

In this case, any agreement that does not provide for the immediate exit of al-Assad from Syria – before the formation of a unity government or indeed any other government – is extremely questionable. This is because I cannot imagine that the tyrant of Damascus will cooperate, except in the event that he positively understands that should he fail to depart, then foreign military intervention will be the next option. However even this is questionable, because it is clear that al-Assad is detached from reality, and this is not to mention his usual vanity in his handling of events. From here, everybody must pay close attention to the reality on the ground in Syria, for it is clear that the tyrant’s forces are beginning to feel the increased strength of the Free Syrian Army [FSA], and therefore we must continue supporting the Syrian revolutionaries, particularly as this may lead to the defeat of the tyrant’s forces. This is also something that will, day by day, drive down the price – whether political or economic – that Moscow is asking for to abandon al-Assad. As for believing that al-Assad will permit the formation of a national unity government in front of his eyes whilst he remains in Syria, this is very hard to believe, and will represent a true surprise if this occurs!

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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