It’s not often that i agree with opinion pieces in the Daily Telegraph but I do in today’s. Fraser Nelson’s piece is entitled “Awful though it seems, working with Assam my be the only option.” The fact is that allied policy in Syria is going nowhere. How can you run a war when you are principally fighting both sides yet hoping that some modest religious factions in the middle will prove to be favourable to the West?
Nothing more rational — and astonishing — occurred than when Russia entered the scene a few weeks ago with tacit support for Assad and immediately started blowing up hundreds of oil trucks and pumps which were a major source of income for Isis.
Why hadn’t the allies been doing this previously? It was because they didn’t want to upset Turkey — whose prime minister, it now turns out, was taking a cut of Isis oil sales.
Both Hussein and Assad were/are ruthless leaders but at least they were containable. Both had a secular Baathist government around them and both were bringing about the emergence of modern professionalism and science out of Medieval religiosity. Iraq has now been set back at least 50 years and it looks as though Syria is in danger also.