In February 1982 President Hafez Assad sent his younger brother Rifaat, his trusted ‘enforcer’, to the Syrian town of Hama with specific orders to put down a revolt by the Sunni community. This he did with devastating efficiency. An estimated 20,000 men, women and children were killed by troops under command of this zealous young patriot.
Later Rifaat’s ambition would get the better of him. He tried to topple his elder brother which didn’t go down too well, and he was banished from Syria. Since then he’s been languishing in comfort in Europe – actually he’s been holed up in London.
It beggars belief that we’ve given succour to a man like Rifaat Assad. His crimes are well known. It’s not as if there has ever been any doubt about his role in the Hama massacre. So what is he doing enjoying our hospitality in London?
It is utterly unbelievable that we have allowed Rifaat Assad to stay in Britain. The Foreign Office must have known he was here, so why didn’t they do anything about removing him? Doesn’t this fall into the category of gross incompetence? However, it’s not to late for them to make amends. Hague can book him an appointment with the prosecutors at the International Court – before Rifaat has time to book his flight to Venezuela. But he won’t, will he?