Friday, 20 November 2015

Syria’s only hope of peace is if Assad is removed

Damaged buildings in the town of Douma, Syria, earlier this week.

 'Assad never has been, nor will ever be, an alternative to Isis. He will never bring peace to Syria, nor will he ever be capable of taking on extremists. There is no capacity on the regime’s side to regain control and restore stability to the country. Moderate forces of the opposition are the only forces that have proved capable of combating Isis and winning back territory, as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) did in 2013. But, thanks to the failure of our western partners, Syria’s moderates are deeply under-resourced. Despite our repeated appeals, we never received the support needed from our friends.

 The only way to effectively take on Isis is to create a ground force capable of fighting terror and stabilising the country. With proper support, such a force could eradicate the Isis terror nest in Raqqa. But this will only happen when we formulate a political plan that ensures a transition away from Syria’s current leadership and state clearly that the end game is Assad’s exit from power.

 Under the aforementioned conditions, the opposition would work with Syrian government organisations to restore basic services and the FSA would willingly concentrate its efforts on defeating Isis. De facto cooperation would occur with the units of the Syrian national army that are not tied directly to the Assad family. The FSA, together with these army units from which identified criminal officers have been removed, would form the two natural components of an indigenous force dedicated to fighting Isis and any combination of forces that aims to destabilise the country. Such a force would provide the international community’s best chance to defeat Isis.'

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