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For Syria's Peace, to Ease Extremism, Bashar al Assad Must be Rejected

There can be no peace in the Levant as long as Bashar al Assad sits in Damascus, Syria. Violent extremism will continue to wreck mayhem upon nations connected to the Levant as long as Bashar al Assad remains in power in Syria. The rolls of extremist terror groups will continue to attract followers as long as Bashar al Assad stays in Damascus. 

Thus, any and all attempts to involve Assad - the primary source of war and of crimes against humanity, into any solutions to bring peace to Syria and to ease violent extremism, must be rejected. The source and the perpetrator of war and of crimes against humanity cannot be legitimized as part of any lasting viable solution to peace and to stability.  

Intelligence experts told a United States(US) Congressional Security Committee earlier this week that bombing campaigns have failed to slow the pace of foreign fighters flocking to join the Islamic State(IS) and other extremist groups in Syria, the Associated Press(AP) reported. Nick Rasmussen, Chief of the National Counter-terrorism Center, revealed to the US House Security Committee that the rate of foreign fighters traveling to Syria was unprecedented.

Intelligence specialists told Congress that some 20,000 fighters from some 90 countries around the world had amassed in Syria, including some 3,400 from Western nations and that some 150 Americans had tried, with some being successful, in reaching the battlegrounds of Syria. Acknowledging the significance and the terrible impact of the Syrian war, the Security Committee Chairman, Michael McCaul said the Syrian war had created "the largest convergence of Islamist terrorists in world history," the AP reported.

Simply put, the Syrian war and Bashar al Assad have created a ripe fertile environment for violence and extremism. Yet, the International community has failed to end the war that has killed more than 200,000 people including thousands of children while Bashar al Assad sits securely in Damascus.

And as if  to add insult to injury and death, the United Nations(UN) Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has declared Assad as a crucial part of the solution to ending the Syrian war. What crucial part? Assad's flight? Assad's exile? Assad's conviction before the World Court for crimes against humanity?

The UN Envoy, who has circulated what I once deemed as a plausible solution to peace in Syria by first freezing fighting in Aleppo, and hoping it would trigger peace in other areas, is committed to a diplomatic peace. However, since he met with Assad earlier this week in Damascus, de Mistura emerged citing Assad as a part of the solution.

And with this inclusion of Assad, I humbly rescind  support to de Mistura's plan. Bashar al Assad added as any component to peace in Syria amounts to a dead plan.

The source that triggers so many combatants from so many corners of the globe to fight against him cannot be a part of any solution to the peace. Arguments that Assad should be included because he represents Syrian institutions is preposterous. If Assad represents the Syrian institutions, then he represents old, flawed and failed systems that have given birth to war, the death of hundreds of thousands, the displacement of millions and rise of violent extremism.

Syria must start a new. The old systems and institutions of governance must be strewn to the winds and the sands like Assad himself. Institutions and systems that allow 421 children to be gassed to death in one attack must accept the same fate as the perpetrator. Bashar al Assad represents instability and the rise of extremism. 

Syria faces a long re-birth. It will not wean to peace until its navel is severed from a tainted Bashar al Assad.

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