A former British ambassador to Syria who appeared on the BBC to defend the Assad regime following the chemical attack earlier this month had taken a prominent position in a pro-Assad lobby group just weeks before the attack on Khan Sheikhoun.
Retired British diplomat Peter Ford, who was the UK ambassador to Syria from 2003–2006, claimed in an interview that President Bashar Al-Assad would not have carried out the chemical gas attack on 4 April which killed nearly 100 and injuring over 500 people.
It has been revealed that just weeks before the chemical attack, Ford had become a director of the British Syrian Society, a lobby group linked to the Assad regime, claims the Telegraph.
According to documents filed at Companies House, Ford – who has been accused of supporting the Syrian regime in the past – was appointed director of the society on 28 February this year.
Following the chemical attack in Idlib province, Ford appeared on the BBC casting doubt on whether Al-Assad was responsible.
Assad may be cruel, brutal, but he is not mad. It defies belief that he would bring all this on his head, for no military advantage. The site that was hit had no military significance. It made absolutely no sense. It would have angered the Russians for no other reason: it was simply not plausible.
The investigation did not confirm if Ford received any payment or remuneration for his role with the society however it alleged that it was accused last year of running a propaganda event in Damascus which was supported by Syrian government officials.
In 2012 Sir Andrew Green, another former British ambassador to Syria and then co-chairman of the society quit after emails showed Fawaz Akhras, the chairman of the British Syrian Society and father of Syria's First Lady Asma Al-Assad, had advised Al-Assad on how to rebut evidence of civilians apparently being tortured.