As Aleppo Burns, Obama Turns A Blind Eye

Farid Ghadry President, Reform Party of Syria
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Aleppo, my birth city, is burning as a result of the most vicious bombing campaign that began two weeks ago and which was initiated by the Assad regime with help from Russia. Its main purpose is to cause maximum damage to life and property to extract a civilian surrender still trapped in this ancient and historical city.

In breaking the ceasefire negotiated with the opposition with the help of U.N. Syrian envoy Staffan De Mistura, the Assad regime and Russia have carpet bombed the city using crude, but deadly, barrel bombs and Russian ordinances originally engineered to destroy heavy mechanized military targets.

With the exception of few Arab officials like Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir whose compassion for the Syrian people never wavered, the world has been mostly silent about the Assad atrocities. So far, the regime has bombed five medical facilities killing a score of civilians including doctors, civil defense workers, women and children. No ISIS or al-Qaeda fighters died during these inhumane killing campaigns.

In the meantime, all the videos and the images showing the suffering of the Syrian civilians are not going to stir any compassion from our president to interfere to save lives. Had Mitt Romney won in 2012, I am certain he might have, at least, forced the Assad regime to stop targeting hospitals and schools.

With Aleppo burning, President Barack Obama has shown the world how oblivious he could be to the suffering of people at the hands of violent and evil men; be it Ukrainians, Cubans, Iranians, or Syrians. When the Ukrainians asked for weapons from the US to defend themselves against Putin, Mr. Obama sent them Meals Ready to Eat (MRE).

Over the last five years, we heard this administration offer one excuse after another in pursuit of explaining an illogical and incomprehensible Syrian policy. Without a serious policy and without seriously forcing Assad out, Iran is bound to fully occupy Syria and threaten Isreal directly. In Obama’s interview in The Atlantic, the president gave us a hint when he said Saudi Arabia should learn to “share the neighborhood” with Iran. Dare we imagine his Syrian policy rests yet on another reward for Iran? Surely he knows its impact on our allies, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Why would the president reward Iran for its vile behavior in the region, and help position the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at the Israeli borders by ignoring Assad, a staunch Iranian ally, despite all the crimes against humanity his regime is committing? Someone with a higher pay grade should pester the president until he answers logically this question.

In the interval, Secretary John Kerry flew to Geneva to discuss a ceasefire for Aleppo with the Russians. It Is safe to say, at this point, that what Kerry says or does with regard to Syria is inconsequential. Behind his insignificance is Obama’s non-interventionist Syrian policy. Those interested in knowing where Syria is headed, tune instead to the words Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov utters.

Lavrov provided Kerry a 48 hours ceasefire window for Aleppo intended mostly to stir another refugee crisis. Why are the Russians toying with US diplomacy and the EU? Because they can and because they back the Assad regime for its arsonist and firefighter roles when it comes to terror, which serves Russian interests to sow discord, by proxy, anywhere. Anyone in the west who thinks Assad will defeat terror has no clue how important terror is to the survival of his regime. To this day, Assad is still buying oil from ISIS to keep them relevant and potent even though his regime is totally secure. You think Putin does not know this?

With a heavy purse and waiting patiently on the periphery are the Iranian Mullahs who will finish devouring Syria at the first opportune moment. Russia may have built a military base in Latakia, but Iran owns the Assad regime lock, stock, and barrel. When the Russians go home, Iran would dictate to Assad on all matters.

In my opinion, delivering Syria to the Mullahs by not forcing Assad out is a major disaster in the making. The behavioral patterns of this administration on Syria point clearly to yet another American setback in the Middle East bound to eventually drive some kind of a military option to curb Iranian terror against US interests.