Nick Ferrari At Breakfast is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 August 2017, 15:52
Maajid Nawaz asks if it's time to accept defeat in Syria
As Britain drops its demand that President Bashar Assad must step down, LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz asks if it is time for those who are anti-Assad to accept defeat in Syria, himself included.
“Is it time for we - we who are anti Assad - to accept that we we have lost in the Syrian civil war?” he asked callers. Maajid said the announcement by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that Assad “should go as part of a transition” was a “major shift” in British policy as he explained the current and past political climate in Syria.
British minsters and western allies yesterday dropped their long-standing demand that President Assad must step down — and may even accept elections in which he is allowed to stand again. It is a turnaround in policy towards Syria, a stance Britain has maintained since the start of the uprising in 2011 in which at least 400,000 people have been killed.
“Bashar Assad, the son, has been in power since the year 2000 however let’s not forget he inherited the rule from his father who ruled from 1970,” Maajid explained. “The country had been under a 48-year imposed state of emergency. In March 2011 there were peaceful protests. Teenagers and children were writing political graffiti on the walls of a school in Daraa when Assad security forces opened fire. It’s worth us remembering that this was a peaceful uprising,” he added.
As of March 2017 more than 5 million Syrians have fled the country and millions more are internally displaced. Assad and his allies are now in control of Syria's four largest cities and its Mediterranean coast