Business Insider quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof on why protecting Syrians from Assad should be the first step of the US strategy to defeat both Assad and ISIS:

Frederic Hof, a former special adviser for transition in Syria under then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told Business Insider in an email that the West’s best chance at creating negotiating leverage lies not in a combination of airstrikes and weak ground forces, but in protecting Syrian civilians from Assad’s atrocities.

“Washington should demand that Russia and Iran get their client out of the atrocity business before the Vienna meetings reconvene,” said Hof, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “If they can’t or won’t do it, we should consider using cruise missiles against Assad regime targets who continue to create mass civilian casualty events.”

Read the full article here.

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