Ford: Al-Assad Won and Washington Failed in Uniting Opposition
In an interview with France 24, the US former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford admits Bashar al-Assad's victory, among other things.
In an exclusive interview with France 24, former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford said that the "US policy has failed to establish a Syrian government through negotiations," in addition to failing to unite the Syrian "opposition" groups.
Ford also mentioned that there are many divisions between the "opposition" groups, which were present since the beginning, contributing to the US' failure in achieving its interests.
He noted that "As the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is present, and controls 70% of the Syrian territory, including major cities, the armed opposition is unable to remove him," stressing that "despite the destruction of the Syrian economy, in the end, Assad won the war."
Ford also acknowledged that "the United States bears responsibility for what happened in Syria," admitting "we armed ["opposition"] groups open to finding solutions through negotiations."
On Arab coexistence
Ford said that Arab countries such as the UAE, Egypt and Jordan have recognized the authority of the Syrian government, acknowledging that it is 'here to stay' and that Arab countries will have to find a way to coexist with it.
While he revealed that no US politician encourages restoring diplomatic relations with Damascus, he considered that the US' circumstances are different when it comes to Syria's Arab neighbors.
However, this does not mean that Washington is happy with the Arab efforts to coexist with Damascus," also saying that the US is unable to offer an alternative to these offers.
The reconciliation efforts, according to Ford, could be seen in examples like UAE Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayed Al Nahyan's recent visit to Damascus. The UAE foreign minister, last March, said that "Syria's return to its Arab surroundings is inevitable, and it is in the interest of Syria and the region."
When it came to whether Arab countries would be sanctioned for restoring relations with Damascus, Ford ruled out the possibility, saying that Biden's efforts are currently focused on Asia.