A British analyst says history will judge the US, Britain and the West “very severely” for aiding militants in Syria to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“There are no ‘good guys’ in Syria’s civil war. But we should not be blind to the fact that there is a project out there to destroy its rich, pluralist and unbelievably intricate culture and replace it with a monochrome version of Wahhabi[sm]…of the kind favored by Saudi [Arabia],” Peter Osborne wrote in an article in the Daily Telegraph published on Thursday.
Osborne’s remarks came after his trip to the Syrian capital, Damascus, where he witnessed a “surprisingly safe” city with people having strong faith in President Assad.
The analyst recounted his trip to different parts of Damascus and discussions with different people such as students, soldiers, MPs, doctors and government ministers.
“On the basis of these conversations, I would judge not just that support for the regime is holding up, but that President Assad could very well win a popular election,” he said.
Osborne stressed that even Assad’s political opponents have said that they would support him in the upcoming elections despite having different political views from those of ruling Ba’ath party.
He quoted Maria Sa’adah, an independent MP for Damascus, as saying that she entered politics at the beginning of Syria’s violence in order to reform the system. She, however, noted that it is not a good time to insist on reforms at this stage as Syria is fighting against “foreign-backed insurgents” and that the country’s “sovereignty…had to come first.”
Syrian people, including Sunni Muslims and Christians, say their country is being “threatened” by foreign powers such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, who are backed by the West, Osborne further noted.
The British analyst referred to the words of a Syrian shopkeeper who said if militants win the war, there “will be no Christian churches in Syria any more (just as there aren’t in Saudi Arabia at the moment). Life will be similarly terrible for many of the ordinary Muslims who make up the great majority of the population.”