After seven years of war in which hundreds of thousands of Syrians were killed and millions turned into refugees, it’s now obvious the U.S. regime change operation in Syria has failed. Under Harper, Canada played a central role in supporting armies of mainly al-Qaida terrorists as proxy U.S. foot-soldiers.
- During the war on ISIS, Trudeau put Canadian refuelling, reconnaissance, and transport vehicles at the disposal of the U.S. Coalition in the skies over Syria even though the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair warned this was “outside of international law.”
- Contrast Canada’s role to Russia’s and Iran’s, whose armed forces were invited into Syria by its sovereign government and whose combined forces did the heavy lifting to defeat ISIS.
Today, as in Aleppo, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is in the process of liberating hundreds of thousands of Syrian citizens, prisoners of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, on a piece of its sovereign territory. The Aleppo liberation, as you may recall, despite being slammed by western media as a “catastrophe” and even a “genocide,” actually was handled professionally by the SAA, with humanitarian corridors for civilians to escape the fighting, food aid, and free bus rides for nine thousand terrorists with their families and small arms to neighbouring Idlib. There was minimal damage to infrastructure, allowing thousands of Damascenes to return, once the fighting was over, to celebrate Christmas for the first time in five years. In the following year, 2017, hundreds of thousands of refugees flooded back to their homes in Aleppo.
Your editorial [the article is written in response to Feb 23 editorial at CanadianThe Hamilton Spectator newspaper – OR note] repeated accusations of Syrian government poison gas attacks. Not a single such accusation has ever been corroborated. For example, an unconfirmed report of a Syrian government gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun last April prompted President Trump to launch Cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase. But recently, U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis admitted in Newsweek magazine that the U.S. never had any proof that the Syrian government was responsible for any gas attacks.
- On the other hand, Carla Del Ponte, UN investigator, found as early as 2013 that, in three gas attacks in Syria, it was likely that the “rebels” were guilty.
- Furthermore, it’s unfair to describe Assad as a dictator. He was re-elected president in 2014, in a 3-way race, with 88.7% of the popular vote in an election monitored by representatives from thirty countries.
- One aspect of the current battle over Ghouta, ignored by the Spec, is the fact that the terrorists have for years routinely shelled the city of Damascus with missiles big and small. Hundreds of Damascenes have been killed and thousands injured. At the time of this writing, the female manager of the Damascus Opera, Lama Fallouh, was killed along with a renowned anesthesiologist and university professor, Dr. Hassan Haj Hassan. When I visited Old Damascus as part of a 2016 peace delegation, I ate at a beautiful historic restaurant. Three months later, a mortar launched from Ghouta landed there, killing six patrons, injuring 34 others, leaving pools of blood on the floor.
- So, I can understand the urgency that Syrian government displays in clearing the terrorists out of Ghouta.
I do agree, however, with your editorial’s conclusion that prolonging this war “might result in a more profound failure to stop a deadly new Middle Eastern conflict.” However, for this conflict to end, the U.S., Turkey, and Israel must vacate respectively northeastern Syria, northern Syria, and the illegally occupied Golan Heights. As well, Arab monarchs need to stop bankrolling the terrorists.
Instead of being a pawn of U.S. foreign policy, the Trudeau government should formally withdraw from the U.S. Coalition, rescind its illegal economic sanctions against Syria, re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus and work with the United Nations to find a political solution to the crisis.
Source: The Hamilton Spectator