Futility of War Has Led West to Accept Assad

Futility of War Has Led West to Accept Assad  Futility of War Has Led West to Accept Assad

The military gains of the Syrian Army against militants have made western countries and their regional allies acknowledge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's role and drop their longstanding demand that he step down as the first step in any peace process, a lawmaker said.

In a recent talk with ICANA, Alireza Rahimi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, "After the failure of war option and the [western-brokered] political talks, western countries had to accept the legitimate position of Bashar al-Assad as the president of Syria."

"Reportedly, France, Britain and eventually the US have tacitly accepted Bashar Assad," he said.

"This is while the same countries were always emphasizing that Assad had no future in Syria and must leave or he would be forced to leave."

In a significant policy shift in the Syrian civil war, Britain and its western allies finally stopped calling that Assad must stand down and suggested they may even be open to the idea of elections in which he is allowed to run again, the Times reported last week.

The British daily said the Syrian opposition leaders were told this month in Riyadh that they now had little choice but to accept that Assad was in Damascus to stay.

"There was no longer any point in holding up talks over Syria's future by sticking to the position that he [Assad] has to go before negotiations could begin," he said.

Boris Johnson, the British foreign secretary, hinted at the policy shift in an interview, according to the daily.

"We used to say he has to go as a precondition. Now we are saying that he should go but as part of a transition. It is always open to him to stand in a democratic election," he added.

Rahimi said Iran had always underscored the need to resolve the crisis through negotiations, as the only way to settle political disputes.

"After years of a devastating conflict, the Syrian dissidents and their western allies came to the conclusion that they could not get anywhere through war, opting instead to sit at the negotiation table," he said.

The parliamentarian added that the ensuing negotiations proved to be futile mostly because there was not a clear "roadmap" in place.


US and Saudi diplomats have reportedly been urging the armed Syrian opposition to come to terms with Assad's role in Syria's future, AP reported, indicating a major policy U-turn in the western stance toward the Syrian crisis.

"Western and regional rebel patrons, currently more focused on advancing their own interests rather than accomplishing regime change in Damascus, are shifting their alliances and have ceased calls on Assad to step down," the report said.

Former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, has also ruled out the likelihood of Assad's removal, saying, "There is no conceivable military alignment that is going to be able to remove him."

"Everyone, including the US, has recognized that Assad is staying," Ford added.

Rahimi concluded that the only viable solution to end the Syrian crisis for good would be "to hold a democratic election in the country organized by the legitimate Syrian government."


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