NEWS(BBC) : US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime deserves credit for complying with a chemical weapons deal.
He was speaking after international monitors said the destruction of Syria’s stockpile had begun.
“The process has begun in record time and we are appreciative for the Russian co-operation and obviously for the Syrian compliance…I think it’s extremely significant that yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the (UN) resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were being destroyed.
“I think it’s a credit to the Assad regime, frankly. It’s a good beginning and we welcome a good
beginning,” Mr. Kerry said.
The destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal is being overseen by a team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
An official on the joint OPCW-UN delegation said on Sunday: “The first day of destruction and disabling is over and missile warheads, aerial bombs, along with mobile and static mixing and filling units, were dealt with. Work continues
tomorrow and in the next few days.”
The Syrian government gave details of its chemical weapons arsenal last month to the OPCW under the Russia-US agreement which also provided for Damascus to join the Chemical Weapons Convention.
President Assad is certainly running his diplomacy well by giving full cooperation to the OPCW’s work. The speed at which they now operate indicates at least two things. First, the international community is serious about phasing out the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances. And second, president Assad is willing to end the spate of violence soon, most likely the Geneva talks. President Assad’s diplomatic stance with the U.S-E.U community, since he admitted the OPWC into Syria, is stronger and better than at any time since 2011.
It is very likely now that he lives out his full term in office and he just might elude a trial at the International Criminal Court. Whether he would face a jury at all for his actions in this civil war now depends on what kind of deal he and his Russian friends are able to make with the rebel political front at the next round of peace talks in Geneva, slated for mid November. And it would also depend very much on what political party comes into power after his term. As it is, President Assad would have to accept a possible American demand for ‘free and fair’ elections to determine who rules Syria next. But as it is with authoritarian leaders who plan the route through which the next government leader must emerge, an Assad protege from his political party, or a look-alike general might emerge.
This scenario has played out in Egypt and the country is back under emergency rule, and under the leadership of an army general. A number of analysts have pointed out how much the present political formation in Egypt resembles Mubarak’s. Given the United States present troubles with fiscal and debt ceilings, its attempt to ‘pivot into Asia’, and engagements with Iran, its hands are full and it may not be able to influence the outcomes in Syria, just as it could not in Egypt.
Once again, it appears that the ‘revolution’ in Syria would fail to achieve what it set out for, at least in the short term. And the Syrian people continue to suffer the costs of the war.
News source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24424933