A FORMER military chief revealed yesterday that plans to oust President Bashar al-Assad were rejected by the government in 2012 as he called for an end to the war in Syria.
General Lord Richards said that it was now time to focus on the humanitarian effort and the defeat of Isis in an interview with the Radio 4 Today programme.
The former chief said he had put forward plans to topple Mr Assad to then prime minister David Cameron in 2012.
“We offered a credible military strategy that would have taken about a year to execute. We were told we didn’t have a year ‘so that plan’s not very good’,” he said.
Gen Richards claimed that it was at this moment that Britain “could have dealt with him [Mr Assad],” but “that moment has now gone and the political situation on the ground in Syria has changed.”
He pointed out that there is “no clear strategy from the West” warning “we are up against people like Putin and Assad who have a very clear strategy and they are outsmarting us,” as he called for the government to end the conflict to ensure they don’t “lose the peace.
“We all are horrified about the humanitarian situation in Syria. If we do not bring this war to a close, that will go on for years yet. I think sometimes Western liberal opinion, and even dare I say me, have been very hypocritical.
“We wring our hands about the humanitarian situation but we have never been prepared to resolve it.”