No Win In Syria: We’ll Be Glad To Keep AssadBy JAMES DURSO
It seems just like old times: the Turk is back in the Levant, Aleppo is under siege, and the ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) is dispensing justice.
When did it all go wrong? When the Americans decided the stuttering ophthalmologist wouldn’t play rough like his fighter pilot dad had. As Donald Trump would tweet: Sad! Sadder still is Bashar’s death toll: about 400,000 compared to the 25,000 his father, Hafez Assad, killed in putting down the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama in 1982.
Why? The Americans, led by President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decided Syria could be split from its Iranian patron and thus deal a defeat to the Islamic Republic. In 2010, Israel and Syria had back-channel talks that reportedly included Israel’s return of the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for security guarantees. The talks slowed due to mutual suspicions about the other side’s ability to deliver and, by early 2011, the Arab Spring erupted across the region and leaders’ attentions turned to more immediate concerns.