The Syrian American Council calls upon Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations Envoy to Syria, to resign from his post after his statement Wednesday that peace in Syria depends on if the opposition could “realize it did not win the war.” De Mistura’s comment wrongly implies that the opposition wants total victory and that this is the main obstacle for peace. Coming one day after a UN probe affirmed that Assad perpetrated the April 2017 Sarin attacks, de Mistura’s remarks also betray a lack of self-awareness toward his own failures.


De Mistura’s claim that peace is possible if the opposition would “realize it did not win the war” flies in the face of reality. Assad maintains a vision of total military victory regardless of the rebel stance, as he has stated repeatedly that he wishes to conquer “every inch of Syria.” While de Mistura noted yesterday his wish is to avoid “a new Aleppo,” Assad has described the 2016 Aleppo massacre as a “springboard” to “keep cleaning this area and push the terrorists to Turkey.” De Mistura’s predecessor, Lakhdar Brahimi, even faulted the Assad regime for the failure of Geneva II talks, stating that the opposition "tried to put forward some ideas" but the regime was not "even listening to the other side."

Under de Mistura's tenure, the UN-led Geneva process for a political transition stalled and was shunted aside in favor of a “de-escalation zones” proposal that absolving war criminals on all sides from accountability. Furthermore, under his tenure, multiple UN Security Council resolutions demanding humanitarian access to besieged areas went unenforced.