Wednesday 21 February 2018

Adrian Hamilton: Don't be fooled ... arms, not diplomacy, will decide the fate of Syria

DONT' be fooled by the outraged cries coming from London, Paris, Washington and now the UN Secretary General himself over the Russian and Chinese veto of the resolution on Syria. True, it spoiled the careful build-up of diplomatic pressure organised by Western and Arab governments. But it's also quite convenient to put all the blame for the continuing escalation of violence in Syria on these two countries, Russia in particular.

Of course, President Assad must welcome the fact that he escaped the censure of the UN. But does anyone think for a moment that, had the resolution passed, he would have instantly ceased bombarding Homs or any other centre of resistance?

The Syrian government isn't deploying the heavy weaponry so deplored by UN chief Ban Ki-moon and President Obama just as an exercise to cow the civilian population which can be turned on or off at will. It's using it to crush any centre of resistance or independence, the more so now that the resistance has become armed by army desertions.

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