May 13, 2014 Special Dispatch No. 5739

Former 'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Editor Tariq Alhomayed: The Only Solution To The Syrian Crisis Is A Military One

May 13, 2014
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 5739

In a recent column for the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, the daily's former editor Tariq Alhomayed argues that a military solution is the only solution to the Syrian crisis. He states that President Bashar Al-Assad and his allies – Iran, Hizbullah and also Al-Qaeda – understand only the language of force, and therefore good intentions and negotiations are fruitless. As a first step towards achieving a military solution, Al-Homayed calls for arming the Free Syrian Army, and adds that after the war is decided a political solution will follow.

Below are translated excerpts from his article:[1]

Tariq Alhomayed (image:

Good Intentions Are Useless; A Radical Military Solution Is Required

"All the current complexities of the Syrian crisis, which the Assad regime has managed to bring to its current dimensions, prove to us, and especially to anyone desiring a political solution, that the military solution rather than the political one is the sole solution for Syria today. All the complex Syrian issues now require a thorough solution, rather than good intentions or more foot-dragging.

"Forcing Assad to stop his crimes against the Syrians, including their ongoing starvation, as occurred in Homs, and to cease using barrel bombs, requires not negotiations but rather military force, because that is the only language Assad understands. Breaking the power of Hizbullah, and of its backer, Iran, in Syria, requires not negotiations and good intentions, but rather force – especially since Hizbullah and Iran are party to the killing of Syrians by their blood-drenched defense of Assad. Keeping silent over Iran's and Hizbullah's crimes in Syria, so as not to neutralize the West's and particularly the U.S.' nuclear negotiations with Iran, is the greatest danger [we face]...

"Purging Syria of Al-Qaeda and other [extremist] organizations likewise necessitates high-quality military assistance to the fighters of the Free [Syrian] Army, [who are] confronting Assad, Hizbullah and Al- Qaeda simultaneously. The Free [Syrian] Army cannot hold out on its own without tangible military support, especially as Assad, Al-Qaeda and Hizbullah have their own backers. If the Europeans and the Arabs want to break Al-Qaeda's power in Syria and stem the influx of terrorists [to that country], this cannot be done by monitoring the airports, borders or social media alone; it is also necessary to arm the moderate elements in the Syrian opposition, namely the Free [Syrian] Army. [This is the way] to break the strength of the extremists that Assad cultivated through his crimes and his collaboration with Al-Qaeda so he could say that only two bad options exist in Syria, [himself or the extremists,] and that he is the preferable of the two."

Negotiations Without Military Measures Are Pointless

"All the events in the Syrian crisis prove to us that the military solution holds the key to the political solution. Not because anyone wants more bloodshed, but because Assad is the one who brought the situation to this pass, with the support of Iran and Hizbullah, by using deception in every initiative [attempted] since the first day of the revolution and by resorting to killing and starvation. We must remember – and this has been stated frequently enough – that delaying a turn to effective solutions will necessarily drag Syria, as well as the region and the West, into a worse predicament. Hosting [Ahmad Jarba], the leader of the Syrian opposition's [National] Coalition, in Washington and [convening] Friends of Syria [conferences] is pointless in the absence of effective military measures, starting with [providing] the Free [Syrian] Army with quality weapons.[2] A military solution today is likely to yield a political solution in Syria later on. Anything else will simply be a waste of time and human lives and a prolonging of the crisis, which will inevitably blow up in everybody's face in the Arab [world] and the West."


[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 10, 2014.

[2] Jarba visited Washington DC on May 7-14, 2014.

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