Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR


Former Chief of General Staff in U.K. Says Work with Assad To Stop ISIS—FCO Secretary Hammond Says No

Aug. 22, 2014 (EIRNS)—General Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of General Staff in the U.K., called for admitting that the war on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a mistake from the begining, and to begin cooperation with his government now to defeat ISIS/ISIL. Noting that the U.S. Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said on Aug. 21 that strikes inside Syria are necessary to defeat ISIL, the Telegraph reports that General Dannatt told BBC Radio 4 that:

"The Syrian dimension has got to be addressed. You cannot deal with half a problem. I think whether it is above the counter or below the counter, a conversation has got to be held with him (Assad). Because if there are going to be any question of air strikes over Syria airspace it’s got to be with the Assad regime’s approval."

Most interestingly, Dannatt said it was

"worth just reflecting... who actually understood that country, Syria, best — was it us, was it other people, or was it Assad? I think the reason why, quite rightly, the British Parliament voted against intervention (in Syria) a year ago and we didn’t join American air strikes was we couldn’t be sure who we would be supporting."

Dannatt also said that ISIL had "received a bloody nose from Assad themselves, that is why they [ISIS/ISIL] have gone off to Iraq and are operating in Iraq." Lord Dannatt also repeated an earlier call for Parliament to be recalled to address the crisis.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of Parliament’s intelligence and security committee and a former Foreign Secretary and Defense Secretary, also said that the West should work with Assad to defeat ISIL, in an interview with the Financial Times, but defended all the previous actions to support the war against his government.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, on the other hand, totally rejected working with Assad, saying that to co-operate with the Syrian regime would "poison" what the U.K. was trying to achieve.

The Telegraph also reported that French Socialist President Francois Hollande last night took the insane neocon line that, "If, two years ago, we had acted to ensure a transition, we wouldn’t have had Islamic State [ISIL]. If, one year ago, the major powers had reacted to the use of chemical weapons, we wouldn’t have had this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group."