Paris (GPA) – French President Emmanuel Macron has conceded that Bashar Al Assad “won the war” in Syria and will remain as president.
Speaking in an interview with French television on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron finally stated what most people already know about Syria: the west had lost. However, Macron did sound different from some other western leaders on the topic of what’s next for Syria.
While still using the coalition language to describe Assad as “an enemy of the Syrian people,” Macron still admitted that the current situation meant for the west. According to Macron, this means the west will “have to speak to Assad and his representatives.”
Macron underlined that France’s primary mission in Syria in his eyes was the defeat of Daesh, rather than the removal of Assad. The French President believes this goal will be achieved “by February,” and as far as the Syrian government is concerned, “Assad will be there,” Macron said.
“[Assad] will be there because he is protected by those who have won the war on the ground, whether it’s Iran or Russia,” Macron said, conceding openly what most western leaders can’t yet.
However, Macron did keep to some older western talking points such as presuming that Assad “will have to respond to his crimes before his people, before the international courts.” Yet still, with this attitude, Macron claims Paris wants to “build a “political solution” through “a process…with Assad’s representatives, but I hope also representatives of all of the opposition.”
The French efforts as part of this “political solution, will be “ to win peace, demine the country (Syria), to demilitarize it and build a political solution that will allow a durable peace — which means all minorities being protected, Christians, Shias, and Sunnis,” Macron said.
Bashar Assad did fire back at Macron’s more outrageous comments, pointing out that “France has been the main supporter of terrorism in Syria from its very beginning,” and that “those who support terrorism do not have the right to talk about peace.”
Assad also remarked on the opposition Macron wants to be invited to peace talks, saying of the present “rebel” representatives in Geneva “do not represent the Syrian people.” Assad also stated that he did not oppose future elections and that the UN could continue to play a role as long as it doesn’t violate Syrian sovereignty.
It seems that now that the western elite has admitted their plans have failed in Syria, more are at least coming to terms with Assad remaining as the leader of Syria. This has been the goal of the international talks led by Russia from the beginning, which western nations are now beginning to accept openly.
It remains unclear how exactly the west will leave Syria, and how territory grabbed by US proxies will be returned to Damascus. So far the western efforts in these circumstances seem insincere, especially with recent incidents between US and Russian fighter jets.
Not everything Macron said is good news, but at least he has had one substantial revelation about the war in Syria. That said, Bashar Al Assad is correct when he points out that the western nations who destroyed Syria should not think they’re entitled to this level of influence.
Also published on Medium.