Merkel: Assad must be involved in Syria talks

“How many Syrian children, how many people have died in strikes by the regime’s barrel bombs?” Barrel bombs are dropped unguided from helicopters just above antiaircraft range, hitting the ground with huge explosions. Syrians have described to me the sheer terror of waiting for a barrel bomb to tumble to earth, not knowing until near the very end where its deadly point of impact will be.


“It is evident there must be a political as well as a military solution to the conflict in Syria”, she said, noting that Australia would play its part in achieving that. In order for Syrians to unite in the fight against IS and for an alternative to Bashar al Assad, they can no longer be bombed from the air. When opposition responded by taking up arms, the regime claimed vindication; it preferred to fight a civil war on sectarian lines than to respond to a secular democratic protest movement, repeatedly bombing and shelling every major city, even the suburbs of Damascus. Most Western countries have sought to exclude Iran from talks on Syria. Paris previously announced its readiness to bomb targets in Syria in 2013, when the United States threatened military intervention against the government of President Bashar Assad. Millions of Syrians fled. Together, we should redouble efforts to stanch the flow of men, money, and materiel to Mr. Assad and ISIS, which prosper in perverse symbiosis with one another.

“This corresponds to what President Putin has repeatedly said,” he said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on September 7 said those who have demanded Assad’s exit “in the past two years should be blamed for the continued war, and they should account for the bloodshed in the past few years“.

“The German government is not acting like a government of a sovereign, independent state”. Russian Federation has built up its own military presence, including heavy equipment, fuelling fears that its support of Assad may help prolong the conflict.

Russian Federation and Iran are deeply embedded in Syria; they can not be dislodged and will always remain a player in shaping Syria’s future.

Assad’s brutal crushing of the 2011 peaceful demonstration in Daraa which led to the civil war, and the violence in Iraq and Syria, enabled the convergence of scores of extremist groups into Syria.

As far as Shorten could tell, there was “not a great deal to separate” the Assad regime and Islamic State.

Moreover, we should not confuse the Assad government with the Syrian state.

“The humanitarian crisis is creating an issue throughout the Middle East and Europe, the likes of which we’ve not seen before”.


And, he suggested there are signs Moscow may be moving toward abandoning the Syrian leader.

Migrants and refugees cross the Macedonian Greek border near Gevgelija