Portuguese / Spanish / English

Middle East Near You

British envoy: Assad lost legitimacy

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not seen) in Sochi, Russia on 21 November 2017 [Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency]
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi, Russia on 21 November 2017 [Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

The Assad regime in Syria “lost its legitimacy due to its atrocities against Syrian people,” according to Martin Longden, the UK’s special representative for Syria.

Longden said on Twitter on Tuesday that the UK closed its embassy in Damascus in 2012 and “we have no plans to reopen it.”

“End of story,” he stressed.

The UK shuttered its embassy in Damascus after the Bashar al-Assad regime targeted Syrians following anti-regime protests, which followed similar protests of the Arab Spring.

UK critical of Assad

The UK has been critical of the regime in Syria since the beginning of atrocities targeting civilians.

“Protecting Syrians and getting them the lifesaving aid they need must be paramount,” said then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson almost a year ago, in response to the devastating siege of Eastern Ghouta.

READ: Saudi, UAE assisted Assad in assassinating opposition commanders 

“The UK is committed to working closely with all international partners to secure an end to the terrible bloodshed and make progress towards a political solution, which is the only way to bring peace to the people of Syria,” he said.

“The Syrian regime has an abhorrent record of using chemical weapons against its own people,” and chemical arms have “become an all-too-regular weapon of war in the Syrian conflict,” Peter Wilson, Britain’s representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said following chemical weapons use by Assad forces in various locations, including Douma.

Wilson’s statement came at an OPCW Executive Council Meeting last year following joint airstrikes by the US, UK, and France on reported Assad regime chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on protesters with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

Middle EastNewsSyriaUKUS
Show Comments
Show Comments