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Thursday 31 March 2016

Foreign Affairs Committee Report on Syria: Childish and Delusional!

Manchester-based Syrian advocacy organisation Rethink Rebuild Society heavily criticises the report released by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Syria on 24 March 2016 titled ‘The UK’s role in the war against ISIL following the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria in February 2016.’

The report, published approximately four weeks after the official cessation of hostilities in Syria, lays down its strategy for combating Daesh in Syria. However, instead of recognising the counterproductive role that Assad has played in the creation and expansion of Daesh, the report suggests that Assad can, or should, be an ally in the war on terror.

Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, director of Rethink Rebuild Society, has the following to say of the report:
“We are really surprised with the Foreign Affairs Committee’s suggestion that cooperating with Assad will help in defeating Daesh. Quite the contrary, promoting such a suggestion is the biggest help for Daesh: Daesh will use it to make the argument that the West is working with a regime that has killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims and destroyed a key Muslim country in the region, and will use this argument as a recruitment tool.

“The FAC report is completely out of touch with the realities on the ground in Syria. It first makes the
mistaken assumption that Assad has played a constructive role in the fight against Daesh, which he has not. To the contrary, getting rid of Daesh is not for the benefit of the Assad regime which is using the threat of Daesh to ask the world to empower it again.

“Additionally, the report’s suggestion that the FSA freedom fighters can cooperate with the criminal Assad regime is utterly ridiculous. Has the FAC forgotten that the FSA was established by those who defected from the Syrian Army because of its brutality against the Syrian people? Does the FAC really believe that the Syrian people will cooperate with a regime which has killed their loved ones and made them refugees, a regime which is responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity against its own people? While the Syrian people do consider Daesh as a threat for Syria, they also importantly consider the Syrian regime as the biggest threat.

“The FAC report also did not answer the important question of who will control any Syrian territory reclaimed from Daesh by joint rebel and Assad forces. To ignore such a question makes the report childishand delusional.”

Rethink Rebuild Society released a briefing to policy makers with a more detailed reaction to some of the points raised in the FAC report:

Briefing: Assad cannot be an ally in the fight against Daesh—Reaction to the Foreign Affairs Committee Report of 24 March