Syrian Regime Cannot Be Trusted and Must Go

Lies, Lies and More Lies

Three big lies have exposed the Syrian regime’s machinations to cling to power and suppress the people. The chemical weapons ‘ruse’, the brutal murder of Abbas Khan and the myth that the regime is fighting al Qaeda.

The Syrian regime has a long history of murder, torture, abductions, assassinations, unexplained deaths, disappearances and executions. It has also a longer history of lying, deceiving, and misleading but always denying it has done anything wrong. Mendacity, duplicity, fabrications, hypocrisy, distortion, prevarication, equivocation and skulduggery are well known hall-marks of the regime. In April 2012 the regime lied to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when the regime promised him that they will respect a ceasefire. They never did. The regime also lied to Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General when they promised not to target civilians, but they did the exact opposite. On 13 September 2013 the UN Secretary General admitted that Assad has committed “crimes against humanity”. Despite denials by the regime UN investigators released a report stating that “Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad purposefully denied people medical care as a “weapon of war”. The lies continued unabated. They lied to the Russians, to the Arab League and to the West. In August 2113 the regime denied using chemical weapons and President Bashar al Assad himself denied possession of chemical weapons.

The Chemical Weapons ‘Ruse’

Despite the denials and lies, the UN Security Council Resolution 2118 (27 September 2013) called on Syria to dismantle and remove all its stocks of chemical weapons by June 2114. According to a BBC report on 4th February 2014 “one thousand three hundred tonnes of chemicals are supposed to be shipped out of the country by 5 February, but it is another deadline that has slipped by with no significant movement on the Syrian side. According to the US, just a tiny fraction – estimated at less than 5% – has been handed over. The regime has been accused of playing a diplomatic poker game, and as the mission nears stalemate, suspicions are growing that the deal was a shrewd ruse designed to buy time and avert military intervention.

The London Sunday Times reported on 2nd February 2014 that the Assad regime is hoarding WMDs in heartland. Israeli and Russian sources say the weapons are being upgraded with the help of North Korean and Iranian experts. The weapons are being transported to the Al Assad’s heartland in the West of the country as an insurance policy in case the country is partitioned. Instead of chemical weapons, the regime is now using barrel bombs and starvation as a weapon.

The murder of Abbas Khan has exposed the depravity and malicious duplicity of the regime.

British doctor Abbas Khan has been “in effect murdered” by the Syrian authorities just days before his expected release from jail. Mr Khan was arrested by al Qaeda elements in November 2012 in Aleppo where he was helping civilians. He was handed over to the regime. This suggest some kind of link between al Qaeda and the regime.

Three days before the family were told that he committed suicide, a Syrian government official told us Mr Khan would be released within days.

President Assad had ordered his release as a present to the British people before Christmas 2013. Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad claimed: “Mr Khan committed suicide using his pyjamas to hang himself”. Mr Khan’s family dismissed the claim as absurd.

One of Mr Khan’s brothers, Shahnawaz Khan, said it was “a lie” and “pure fiction” that his brother committed suicide as he had written to his family saying he was looking forward to coming home and spending Christmas with them.

The doctor’s relatives had been told he would be freed within days following an order from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It transpired now that they decided to murder him to stop him exposing the regime’s brutalities within the Assad’s prison system.

According to an Evening Standard report 17th December last year: “In two handwritten letters, passed to Foreign Secretary William Hague by his mother, Dr Khan wrote: “I have been violently forced to beat other prisoners, kept in squalid conditions, denied access to toilets or medical treatment”. He also experienced male prisoners being beaten to death and female prisoners screaming as they were being abused.

The regime lied to the mother that her son would be released then they murdered him to stop him talking to the world media.

False Claim That The Syrian Regime Is Fighting Terrorism

An article in World Time magazine (27 January) argued that the Assad regime is in league with al Qaeda. Opposition groups and their Western backers say that despite claims to be fighting terrorism, Bashar Assad is colluding with extremists.

On 17th January the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lashed out at Assad highlighting the hypocrisy of a regime that claims to fight terror as a negotiating tactic. “[Assad is]” trying to make himself the protector of Syria against extremists, when he himself has even been funding some of those extremists – even purposely ceding some territory to them in order to make them more of a problem so he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector against them,” he told reporters . “We’re not going to be fooled.”

The London Daily Telegraph reported on Monday 20th January 2014 that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has funded and co-operated with al-Qaeda in a complex double game.

We are entitled to ask again and again “why the regime never bombed areas that are controlled by the al-Qaeda affiliates?” Doesn’t this suggest some sort of collusion or understanding between the al-Qaeda and the regime?

Amid the fog of war, the Free Syrian Army is now fighting both the Assad regime and rebels linked with Al Qaeda.

This regime cannot be trusted and must go.

Nehad Ismail is a writer and broadcaster, who writes about issues related to the Middle East from his home in London.