Highway billboard of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. sarahchats/Flickr

De doodlopende weg die Assad heet

PARIJS – Vergeet principes en moraal. Vergeet de kwart miljoen doden waar Bashar al-Assad direct of indirect verantwoordelijk voor is sinds hij er voor koos met geweld te antwoorden op de vreedzame opstand van de Syriërs, of probeer ze tenminste te vergeten. Leg het feit naast je neer dat de troepen van Assad tot nu toe 10 tot 15 maal meer burgerslachtoffers hebben gemaakt dan de Islamitische Staat, wier gruwelijke executievideo’s de onzichtbare slachtingen van de Syrische dictator hebben overschaduwd. Maar zelfs wanneer je dit allemaal uit je gedachten weet te wissen is een politiek die Assad positioneert als een alternatief voor de Islamitische Staat gewoonweg niet rendabel.

Assad is tenslotte degene die de huidige barbarij van de Islamitische Staat in de eerste plaats veroorzaakt heeft: in mei 2011 liet hij honderden islamitische radicalen vrij uit de gevangenis, wat de groep, die toen nog in zijn kinderschoenen stond, al snel van strijders en leiders voorzag. Vervolgens bestookte hij methodisch de stellingen van de gematigde rebellen, terwijl hij ondertussen niet minder methodisch het bastion van de Islamitische Staat in Raqqa spaarde. Verder stond hij in 2014 Iraakse onderdelen van IS toe in oost-Syrië een veilige haven te vinden.

Met andere woorden creëerde Asssad zelf het monster dat hij nu pretendeert te bevechten. Is dit alles bij elkaar genomen niet wat te veel van het slechte voor een potentiele bondgenoot? Bestaat überhaupt de mogelijkheid dat samenwerking met Assad een stevige basis zal bieden voor wat een gezamenlijke inspanning zou moeten zijn?

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