Assad regime sends envoy to US to repair relations: report

Assad regime sends Syria envoy to US to repair ties after fall out with Russia
3 min read
16 August, 2021
A Russian diplomatic source has claimed that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has sent an envoy to the US in an attempt to repair relations.
Assad reportedly sent the envoy amid differences with his main backer Russia [Getty]

A Russian diplomatic source claims that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has sent an envoy to Washington to discuss the resumption of cooperation between the Syrian regime and the US.

Rami Al-Shaer, an advisor to the Russian foreign ministry, told The New Arab's affiliate Syria TV that the Assad regime was prepared to work with and coordinate with the US "regarding all issues related to the Middle East" as long as Washington accepted Assad's rule over Syria.

He said that the regime was taking this step due to differences that have arisen with its main ally Russia, recently exacerbated by fighting between the regime and rebels in Daraa.

Al-Shaer also suggested that while Russia wants the conflict in the southern province to end, the regime seeks to continue it until the rebels were crushed.

Al-Shaer told Syria TV that a potential deal with the US would be a "kiss of life" to the Syrian regime, which he said was prepared to give the US oversight over the Syrian issue in exchange, marginalizing Russia.

He said that the Syrian regime was aware of Daraa province's proximity to Israel and that continued fighting could potentially lead to a wider war with complex consequences. Assad therefore was prepared to coordinate with Israel and its ally the US in the region.

The province of Daraa saw some of the earliest protests against the regime in 2011, and was a rebel stronghold until captured by the Assad regime in 2018. 

Daraa has remained restive in recent years.

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Fighting broke out in the Daraa Al-Balad area of Daraa in June when residents of the city refused to participate in presidential elections which saw Bashar Al-Assad re-elected with an improbable 95.1% of the vote and was widely dismissed as a sham.

Regime forces are continuing to shell Daraa even after a Russian brokered ceasefire agreement that will see rebel fighters submit to regime rule over the city.

Al-Shaer said that Russia's insistence on a ceasefire in Daraa and an agreement with rebels had placed the regime in a precarious position, amid ongoing unpopularity exacerbated by Syria's economic crisis.

"Damascus for the past three years has bet that a division would happen between the Astana guarantor nations - Iran, Russia, and Turkey and used every means to bring this about and do away with the Astana peace deals," he told Syria TV.

"I wouldn't be exaggerating if I say that 90% of the Syrian people want a change in government", Al-Shaer added.

He said the regime feared that peace deals with rebels in Daraa and their continued presence on the ground could lead to political change in Syria.

Al-Shaer added that he did not believe the US would accept the regime's overtures, saying that the Biden administration was coordinating with Russia to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a political settlement in Syria.