Hadi al-Bahra, the former president of the Syrian National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said that the US administration has finally folded the page on its cooperation with the al-Assad regime in the fight against the Islamic State forces and pointed out that the truth of the al-Assad regime is more exposed than ever before.
In an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, al-Bahra discussed the changing American policies on Syria and the al-Assad regime. He said that the American administration’s priorities have not changed and their main aim is still eliminating the Islamic State. However, he stressed that the Syrian opposition must organize itself politically and militarily.
- Everyone is wondering after the massacre of Khan Shaykhun and the American strike: has America changed towards Syria?
In reality, the recent American position towards Syria which came as a response to the regime’s recent crimes against innocent civilians, targeting them with chemical weapons, is considered a fundamental and important change in America’s policies and priorities in Syria. It can be said based on the recent American action that this new administration has turned the page of accepting cooperation with the Bashar al-Assad regime in the war on terror. It clearly outlines that security and peace cannot be achieved in Syria in the presence of al-Assad. It even considers that the continuation of the al-Assad regime impedes reaching a political settlement.
It seems that the crime of al-Assad in Khan Shaykhun was the last nail in the coffin of any role played by al-Assad in the fight against terrorism. This crime revealed more today about the nature and truth of this bloody regime.
Do you think the American strike has set limits for the regime?
Certainly, the American military strike on the al-Shayrat airport that holds the chemical stockpile put an end to the imaginary red lines which former US President Barack Obama spoke of. The red lines are now effective, and the message is clear that the United States will not stand by idle in the event of a threat to its national security, but the declared priorities of US policies are still the same.
What are the priorities of US policy?
First, the American focus is largely on eliminating the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and the organizations associated with them in accordance with Security Council resolutions. Second, comes their efforts to achieve stability in the areas liberated from the Islamic State and the other terrorist organizations. Third, according to the American priorities is achieving orderly political transition in Syria through a political settlement which guarantees al-Assad’s departure from power at its beginning.