America stands in the way of peace in Syria

SIR – It seems there is some hope for an end to the suffering of the Syrian people with the US and Russia working together on ceasefires. But the question of where the US stands on President Assad’s rule is still unclear and could be a major stumbling block. It is an issue which should have been decided by the United Nations and in accordance with international law.

In August 2011, about five months after the trouble had started in Syria, US president Barack Obama issued an imperial decree asserting that Assad had lost legitimacy and had to go. That was a key turning point in the Syria catastrophe. At that time there were human rights issues in Syria (as well as street violence), and the powerful nations of the West could have addressed them (as they could do in Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt and elsewhere) without

supporting the violent overthrow of the government.

America and Russia should work together to eradicate ISIS and other fanatical armies from Syria and establish a democratically elected government. If America continues backing armed opposition and insisting Assad must go, that is not going to happen.

Brendan O’Brien

London N21

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