“The Assad regime is an affront to Western values, a threat to U.S. global influence, and an imminent danger to American national security,” writes Dr. Tarek Kteleh in an article published in The National Interest.
Dr. Kteleh, a cofounder of Citizens for a Secure and Safe America and former Vice President of The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), goes on to say that America’s leaders need to acknowledge these facts and to commit to helping the Syrian people’s transition to a democracy and to end Bashar Assad’s dictatorial reign.
In the article, Dr. Kteleh cites one of the latest incidents which caught little attention in the media when American warplanes bombed Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria “in response to those militias’ attacks on U.S. special forces personnel engaged in anti-ISIS operations,” stressing that this shows why “an increasingly prevalent strain of thought in the U.S. foreign policy community is so misguided.”
Since 2011, Dr. Kteleh argues, “Assad has engaged in brutal and unrelenting attacks against his own people,” using chemical weapons, imprisoning and torturing innocent people on a massive scale, and deliberately targeting civilians” turning Syria into a hub for one of the world’s Captagon, an addictive amphetamine.
Assad is the linchpin for most of America’s geopolitical enemies, including Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, and othersDr. Tarek Kteleh
It is true that some in Washington are “fed up” with America’s ongoing involvement in the Syrian file and that they feel that the Syrian dictator “has mostly defeated the various rebel factions, so it makes sense to patch things up with Assad, remove sanctions on his regime, and wash our hands of the entire ordeal.” The writer counterargues these claims by emphasizing that they are “understandable—but dangerous” as “Assad is the linchpin for most of America’s geopolitical enemies, including Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, and others,” emphasising that “cozying up to him and enabling his regime to reassert its reign of terror over the whole of Syria would empower and further unite America’s enemies.”
Dr. Kteleh names some of the adversaries to the U.S. that have strong ties to Assad, including Russia and Iran which has lent military support to Assad since the very beginning of his war on the Syrian people and it has helped recruit militias from Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to fight for him. Dr. Kteleh sheds light also on the Assad regime’s close and “mutually beneficial partnership with Hezbollah” which has sent thousands of fighters to assist Assad, and the dictator “has returned the favor by funneling Iranian weapons to the group.”
Assad is a dictator, a war criminal, and a murdererDr. Tarek Kteleh
Dr. Kteleh makes it crystal clear that the acts of the Assad regime against the American national interests are not limited to the past 10 years. He goes back two decades ago to the time of the US occupation of Iraq when the Assad government “recruited and sent jihadist fighters into Iraq to attack Americans and pro-American Iraqis—a deed for which Assad has American blood on his hands.” Had the U.S. acted and punished Assad for his war crimes, Dr Kteleh says, it could have “sent a message strong enough to deter Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Dr. Kteleh sums up his arguments by emphasizing that “Assad is a dictator, a war criminal, and a murderer,” stressing that he also “happens to pose a very real threat to the most basic U.S. security interests,” and Assad “helped bring together some of America’s most dangerous geopolitical foes, undermining American interests in the Middle East and around the world.”