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The UK government and mainstream media say Syria president Bashar Al-Assad is killing his own people in Syria.
According to a recent BBC report, Assad is giving shelter to 1.6m internally displaced Syrian refugees in Latakia, who are well looked after. Is he killing his own people and saving their lives at the same time?
It seems the strongest case against Assad possibly amounts to an argument that he should have given up territory to rebels rather than attempt to retake it with inevitable loss of civilian lives.
According to the Syrian Observatory, when the death toll in Syria reached 100,000, 45% of those killed were Assad fighters versus 15% rebels. Assad has clearly been facing a powerful armed assault since early on in this war.
British prime minister David Cameron says Assad has to step down. He has no right to make Assad’s departure a condition of serious peace talks, even if Assad is the monster he claims.
If the US/UK insist that Assad has to go, and he refuses, then peace talks come to a standstill. There is no other peace process, so the people of Syria are condemned to war with no end in sight. The US, with Russia, can enforce a ceasefire between Assad and moderate rebels, after which the Syrian army can lead the assault on Isis in Syria. No other army can do that in a way which ensures stability after Isil have gone.
Mr Cameron should be using his influence to get Obama engaged in serious talks with Putin towards this end.
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