Height of audacity

File - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks to the media in Moscow, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem used a news conference Monday to relay his regime’s latest thoughts on the topic of fighting terror, while contributing nothing other than an expansion of the world’s understanding of hypocrisy.

He was speaking a day after regime troops suffered yet another defeat at the hands of ISIS by losing control of the Tabqa military air base, the regime’s last foothold in the province of Raqqa.

The news conference was an exercise in time-wasting and insulted millions of Syrians and members of the international community.

After the entire world learned how the Syrian regime unleashes the hell of barrel bombs on civilians in the city of Aleppo and elsewhere, Moallem calmly talked about how “anyone who kills an innocent Syrian civilian” was a terrorist.

He delivered the usual lecture about sovereignty and against intervention in Syrian affairs, while conveniently forgetting four decades of his own country’s involvement in the affairs of Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis and Turks, to name just a few.

In short, it was the kind of performance few take seriously.

But Moallem was right about one thing, that Syria should be the “center” of an international coalition to fight ISIS – as long as the regime plays no part in the struggle and receives no benefits for having done everything in its power to help terrorist groups grow and expand.

Moallem’s remarks were likely intended to take up space in the media, one day after its latest, humiliating defeat in Raqqa, which leaves the question of what it intends to do and say beginning Tuesday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 26, 2014, on page 7.




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