Former U.S. envoy to Syria, Joel Rayburn, said in an interview with Syria TV that the situation in Syria is serious. All possible issues that could cause a broader war between regional actors and some international actors remain, including the ISIS problem. But he stressed that, according to Washington’s policy on Syria, there will be no U.S. administration that can improve Bashar al-Assad’s current situation. Congress and popular public opinion in America will not support such policies.
In 2018, the U.S. envoy under the Trump administration noted that the United States had provided an integrated “road map” to impose a political solution in Syria, and discussed it well with Russia. He explained that the Russians “falsely claimed that they did not understand it.”
The road map included the six conditions that the Assad regime must meet in order to restore the relationship with the United States: cutting military ties with Iran, handing over the chemical arsenal, creating conditions for the return of refugees, holding war criminals accountable, stopping sponsoring terrorism and not threatening its neighbors.
Rayburn revealed a seventh condition that has never appeared in the media before, which is Assad’s release of all Americans held in his prisons.
Regarding why Washington did not agree to an air embargo to neutralize Assad’s air force in the massacre of Syrians, Rayburn justifies the Obama administration’s fear of Assad’s air capabilities. He says that since the Syrian revolution began in 2011, it has exaggerated the Assad regime’s air defense strength, as well as the lessons Americans have learned from the Iraq war.
On America’s refusal to impose at least a no-fly zone, Rayburn said, “There were two reasons why a no-fly zone was not imposed, the first being that the Administration and other governments overestimated the Assad regime’s air defense capability, and were reluctant to do anything. I think the Obama administration was reluctant to take any step that it thought would be a provocation to respond to, and it seems that they had a lack of intelligence. The second reason was that the Obama administration was reluctant to take any step that was believed to call for a reaction from Russia. “
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.