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Why Obama Decided to Wait: Walid al-Bunni

Why Obama Decided to Wait: Walid al-Bunni

Member in Syrian National Coalition, Walid al-Bunni says he is confident U.S. military intervention in Syria "is inevitable" but says U.S. hesitation is due to the White House's fears over the period after the collapse of the Assad regime.


"Western intervention is needed to topple the Assad regime, as it is impossible to topple it without the help of the international community," Bunni said.


However he said any intervention "should be well thought out so that it does not propel Syria in to chaos."


"This may be the real reason behind the postponement of U.S. President Barack Obama's military strike," he said, during a telephone interview.


Despite international anger over Assad's use of chemical weapons, Bunni said the results of a U.S. strike were unclear.


"Did [Obama] think of the results of the strike and the actual collapse of the regime?" he said, adding, "How will he avoid the chaos if the regime collapsed suddenly?"


Bunni stressed that "Obama is determined to implement this military strike, but that reluctance may be due to the fear of a collapse into chaos, because of the lack of an alternative ready for post-Assad period."


"The postponement of the strike has allowed them to study it more deeply, and to think of solutions and alternatives after the collapse of the regime," he said.


Obama's hesitation, he said, "will not strengthen Assad, as after the use of chemical weapons, Assad cannot stay in power."

Bunni alluded to the patience exhibited as one of the reasons Russians sought in this period to exert "maximum efforts to persuade the Syrian President to transfer power and leave the country in order to avoid military intervention."


Bunni rejected the idea that western military intervention would be confined to limited punitive strikes against Assad's regime for the use of chemical weapons, most recently on 21 August in the Ghouta region of Damascus .


He said he was confident the strikes would alter the balance of power on the ground to the advantage of the rebels.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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