Caabu Letter in the Guardian on Syria: Dark times for Syria, the UN and the west

Posted by Caabu on 11 Apr 2018

On 10 April 2018, Caabu's director Chris Doyle had a letter published in the Guardian on Syria, in response to an article by Simon Jenkins.

Dark times for Syria

Just what sort of victory does Simon Jenkins believe that President Assad is going to get (Only Assad’s victory will end Syria’s civil war. The west can do nothing, theguardian.com, 9 April)? Syria is smashed, its cities in rubble, half its population displaced, and to bring this about Assad has had to mortgage his country’s independence to Russia and Iran. Turkey is helping itself to a new security belt in the north. Assad has failed his country and people, and should be held accountable for this and his myriad crimes.

Merely pointing the finger at western failures in Syria misses the full picture. No country and no actor comes out of this hell with any credit at all. Moreover, the most damaging external interventions in Syria in terms of destruction and killing were non-western, those of Russia, Iran, Turkey and Islamic State. The Gulf states ran a largely inept proxy war as well.

The question now is, after so much destruction and suffering, how can we give some meaning to the hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians killed in these wars? Reconstruction and reconciliation are vital, but so too is political change and more inclusive government.

Chris Doyle

Director, Caabu (Council for Arab-British Understanding)