Interview with Fahad Al Masry, member of the Syrian opposition and coordinator of the Syrian National Salvation Front
The US and Russia have intensified their military efforts in Syria with the help of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG). Do you think an end to the crisis is now near?
You must remember that during the ISSG meeting, held last May in Paris, there were many disagreements, caused by the difference in Russian and American policies. This also led to the creation of two different groups: one supported the US and Russia, while the other supported Europe, led by Germany and France (and also included Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar). They created a European, Arab and Muslim coalition; the dozen or so Arab and European countries which formed the Group of Friends of the Syrian People continues to declare its support for the opposition.
This situation is due to Obama’s disastrous Middle East policy which left Russia free to intervene in the conflict, while sidelining Turkey and the Gulf countries. This split within the support group can be clearly seen because, during the Paris meeting, there was tension between the Europeans (France and Germany) and the other countries.
There are a number of unresolved issues, even if all parties claim that the target date for political transition is a real goal. The Vienna talks aimed to strengthen relations between the partner countries and to rebuild alliances which had became too narrowly focused during the Paris meeting. Russia, an ally of Bashar al-Assad, reported in early May on active negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Aleppo.
Moscow, however, had warned that it did not intend to put pressure on Damascas to stop carrying out air strikes on the city, even though that’s what had Washington’s demanded. All these alliances and disagreements make the Syrian issue very complicated. An alliance, or several alliances even, within the same support group does not necessarily help attempts to find a resolution to the crisis. The post-Geneva period is only just beginning, and the hope is that we do not go down the road of a Geneva V, Geneva VI…etc
The United States does not see a future for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, it is one of their priorities: remove him from power. What’s your opinion on this matter?
As Lakhdar Brahimi once put it, Bashar al-Assad is finished. This declaration can be justified given that Bashar al-Assad had supported the Iranian and Russian attacks on civilians demanding freedom and respect.
History will remember that Obama was the worst American president ever because his policy pushed Syria and the entire region into endless conflict. From the beginning, Washington severly criticised Assad’s policy. But while Assad was free to transgress all limits, the US did nothing but interfere in our internal affairs rather than finding a solution to both the conflict and Bashar al-Assad.
The image of Bashar as a tyrant merely served the interests of certain world powers who aim to destroy our country and destabilise the entire region to serve interests beyond our own. Syria is not the only target. This strategy of destruction targets other countries, too, in particular the countries in Northern Africa, such as Algeria.
Do you think that recapturing Rakka from ISIL could have an impact on other towns in the country?
The liberation of Rakka is important and, without a doubt, constitutes a defeat for ISIL. The international media distracted us with “the destruction of archaeological sites” in order to conceal an international illegal trade in archaeological treasures, supported by both the Syrian and Iranian government. By destroying a country’s memory, you destroy its future. The other problem in Rakka is that the US had brought Kurdish militia forces into Syria to help liberate the city. We can now expect a civilian massacre.
Translated from French
The original author was Faten Hayed
Source: France-Irak Actualité