For over 5 years the Western media has been complicit in pumping out skewed (if not entirely fake) news about Syria. Much of that has been in support of the US/NATO/EU strategy of achieving “regime change” by proxy. This strategy has ostensibly been about support for the “moderate opposition” to Bashar al-Assad only to find that the “moderates” were not so moderate after all. The financial and weapons support they provided has effectively been used for the growth of ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front and Al Qaida. Only since the Russian intervention a little over a year ago have the terror organisations lost ground. The retaking of Aleppo, which was held by opposition groups directly supported by the West, has been accompanied by a huge media campaign about the atrocities being committed there by the Russians and Assad’s forces. The media are virtually silent about the atrocities in Mosul where US and Iraqi led forces are trying to retake the city.
But the failure of the Obama/Kerry non-strategy now stands ingloriously revealed and, for the first time, the main-stream Western media are prepared to present stark news without too much spin and without too much skew.
It would have been unthinkable – and politically incorrect – for this story to have been published by the BBC before now. Officially, however, the UK and the US and NATO are still continuing to follow the same old discredited policy – but they have become irrelevant as Iran, Turkey and Russia take the lead. If Trump goes along with them and supports the formation of safe havens for the “rebels” to withdraw to, there may be an end in sight for the troubles in Syria.
Britain “got Syria wrong every step of the way”
Britain’s policy on Syria has been “wrong every step of the way”, a former UK ambassador to the country has said. Peter Ford said the UK had made matters worse by not putting troops on the ground and instead encouraging rebel groups to mount a doomed campaign. The situation had led to hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties, which could have been foreseen, he added.
The Foreign Office said removing the Assad regime was the only way to end the suffering of the Syrian people. Mr Ford, who was the ambassador in Damascus from 2003 to 2006, said the UK should have put forces on to the battlefield or refrained from encouraging the launch of the opposition campaign.
Speaking on the Today programme: “We have made the situation worse. It was eminently foreseeable to anyone who was not intoxicated with wishful thinking. The British Foreign Office, to which I used to belong, I’m sorry to say has got Syria wrong every step of the way.”
On Thursday, the Syrian army regained full control of Aleppo – which has been a key battleground in the civil war between government forces and rebel groups. It is a notable victory for President Bashar al-Assad in the war which began when the uprising against him began in 2011.
Mr Ford said the president’s government should be given “a little credit” for a “relatively peaceful” end to the siege in Aleppo. He told the BBC government forces would now need to strengthen their hold on the city and defend it against possible counter-attacks.
The former diplomat criticised the Foreign Office for saying President Assad’s demise was imminent at the beginning of the war and for predicting he would lose power quickly. He said the department also said the opposition was dominated by “these so-called moderates, that proved not to be the case”.
He went on: “Now they are telling us another big lie, that Assad can’t control the rest of the country. Well, I’ve got news for them; he is well on the way to doing so.”
Mr Ford said the West has condemned the bombing in Aleppo, yet similar attacks were being carried out in the Iraqi city of Mosul and in Yemen without the same amount of criticism from Britain. He went on: “We don’t talk about atrocities; we don’t talk about war crimes, although they are indisputably being committed in both those theatres.”
The former ambassador said “We will be lucky” if those campaigns ended in the evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters on green buses, as was the case in Aleppo.
The Foreign Office said a political solution and transition away from Assad were the “only way to end the suffering of the Syrian people”. A spokesman added: “The Assad regime has the blood of hundreds of thousands on its hands. There is no way it can unite and bring stability to Syria.