Sir, – Your editorial "The Irish Times view on Syria's war: a call that must be heard" (March 9th), urging all parties to heed the pleas of NGOs appealing for aid, while commendable, will unfortunately not address the reason preventing the rebuilding of the country.
President Bashar al-Assad destroyed Syria to hold onto to power by adopting an exclusively and extreme military response in crushing the peaceful uprising in 2011 and has been indicted for crimes against humanity on multiple occasions since then by all of the leading independent human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria established by the UN Human Rights Council.
Against that background, the EU and the US will not provide funds to Assad to rebuild what he destroyed in Syria to hold onto power, killing and leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and still detaining up to 130,000 disappeared in his notorious prisons. All the more unthinkable when he is still engaged in war crimes with allies Russia and Iran and preventing millions of refugees from returning home.
“Syria is a war crime masquerading as a war”, to quote Roy Gutman the renowned war correspondent, in a filmed interview, because of the way the regime used an exclusively military response targeting civilians in opposition areas to crush the uprising.
How can there be a political settlement if Assad remains? Millions of refugees are afraid to return because of his Mukhabarat or secret police which continues to systematically torture, disappear and kill (often under torture) those deemed to be opposed or even suspected of being opposed to his rule.
As the former head of Syria’s notorious air force intelligence, Jamil al-Hassan, made clear at a meeting of senior officers: “A Syria with 10 million trustworthy people obedient to the leadership is better than a Syria with 30 million vandals.” – Yours, etc,
RONAN L TYNAN,
(Director – Syria:
The Impossible Revolution),