The former UK ambassador to Syria has said the US “is effectively siding with a branch of Al-Qaeda” in Syria.
Discussing Washington’s recent request to Moscow not to target Al-Nusra positions with air strikes, Peter Ford told RT that the US is “ready to de facto ally” with its archenemies from Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria as part of its “obsession” by using “so-called moderate” groups to overthrow the Syrian government.
The former ambassador denounced the move as “not reasonable at all” and “grotesque.” He also sharply criticized the US for their “obsession with getting rid of Assad and the secular government in Syria” that leads them right to the alliance with “their arch-enemies” and to the loss of “all moral and practical competence.”
“We can only hope that it is a temporary aberration and they will soon return to their senses,” Ford told RT, urging the US government to abandon their policy of de facto aiding Al-Qaeda’s affiliate. He also expressed his support for Russia’s “very reasonable demand that the forces of the so-called moderate opposition disentangle themselves from the embraces of Al-Nusra and allow Al-Nusra to be bombed.”
The former ambassador also stressed that there is “virtually no difference” between Al-Nusra and such groups as Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Fatah as they are “indistinguishable” in terms of ideology, sectarian bias and their practical methods consisting of “massacres and ruthlessness.”
He also emphasized that the only difference between Al-Nusra and other groups that western countries, including the US, portray as “moderate opposition” lies in the field of tactics.
“The so-called moderate groups pay lip service to the idea that Syria might end up with a secular system after negotiations provided only that Assad will go. They pay lip service to this but anyone, who believes it must be a fool but the Americans use this as a reason or the pretext not to go after these groups,” Ford said.
The former ambassador denounced the US’ “obsession with getting rid of Assad, which they euphemistically call ‘transition’ in the context of the negotiations” as an attempt to carry out another regime change as they previously did in Iraq and Libya.
“They are keen, it seems, to repeat the same mistakes in Damascus,” Ford said, commenting on the US continuous efforts to oust the Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.
At the same time, he warned that “it is really dangerous to mainstream these jihadi groups with a handful of genuinely democratic secular oppositionists, who are the tiny minority of the opposition on the ground,” referring to such groups as Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, which the US, France, the UK, and Ukraine refused to designate as terrorist organizations and add them to a UN Security Council (UNSC) blacklist.