Time to bomb Assad, say diplomats in challenge to Obama’s stance on Syria

Dozens of diplomats think America should launch military strikes against the Syrian government, breaking ranks with president Barack Obama’s policy on the bloody civil war. The so-called dissent channel cable urges attacks against Bashar al-Assad’s regime for its persistent violations of a shaky ceasefire aimed at bringing an end to the five-year conflict. The cable, signed by working-level diplomats, demands “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons”.

The status quo in Syria will continue to present increasingly dire, if not disastrous, humanitarian, diplomatic and terrorism-related challenges

Dissent channel cable

The cable shows the diplomats’ frustration at the lack of headway in Mr Obama’s alternative policy – to work with Russia to secure a ceasefire in Syria’s five-year civil war and talks on a political transition. It says Mr Assad’s continued violation of a countrywide partial ceasefire meant a political settlement was untenable. It also emerged as Russian forces bombed US-backed militia in Syria, highlighting the tangle of alliances in a war where Moscow is working to prop up its chief regional partner.

Russia’s latest actions raise serious concern about Russian intentions. We will seek an explanation from Russia on why it took this action and assurances this will not happen again

Senior defence official