The Daily Beast: Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations’ Special Envoy to Syria, who recently called Bashar al-Assad a “part of the solution,” now says the dictator has to got to go and should be militarily pressured to do so by the U.S.—a move, de Mistura conceded, that would require Washington to sidestep the U.N. Security Council.
De Mistura made these comments last Friday at a private meeting with Syrian American organizations in Geneva, according to two participants who spoke to The Daily Beast exclusively. One of them, Jomana Qaddor, is the co-founder of the U.S.-based humanitarian organization Syria Relief and Development. De Mistura, she said, “[made] it very clear that Assad had to go… It was unequivocal.”
That’s a significant reversal from the position the diplomat took in February when he suggested that Assad might play a constructive role in resolving the Syria crisis, fresh from meetings with regime officials in Damascus.