Bahrain steps towards Syria normalisation with new envoy to Damascus

Bahrain steps towards Syria normalisation with new envoy to Damascus
Despite condemnation from rights groups, a Bahraini ambassador to Damascus has been sworn in by the Assad regime.
2 min read
20 June, 2022
The Assad regime has been accused of war crimes [Getty]

A new Bahraini envoy to Damascus has been sworn in, amid increasing normalisation between Arab states and the Syrian regime.

Waheed Mubarak Sayyar handed in his credentials in a ceremony attended by Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad and Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, according to state news agency SANA.

The two “exchanged discussions with him on a number of topics and issues of concern to the two brotherly countries, wishing him success in his mission,” the report added.

Syria has been marred by a decade-long brutal conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead.

During the 11-year war, Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against civilians and conducted mass torture and extrajudicial killings to target specific communities, according to Human Rights Watch.

According to data by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) released this week, Assad’s regime and its backers are responsible for 91 percent of deaths since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011.

228,893 civilians were killed in the Syrian civil war from March 2011 till June 2022, according to SNHR’s statistics. Out of these, 200,391 were killed by the Syrian regime and Iranian militias, and a further 6,928 were killed by Russian forces.

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The Islamic State, the US-led coalition, the armed opposition to the Assad regime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and other militia groups are responsible for the rest of the deaths.

“This slaughter is a crime against humanity, and the Syrian regime must be held accountable for all its crimes,” the organisation tweeted. The SNHR also added that 29,791 children were killed in the war, of which 84 percent were killed by the Syrian regime and its Russian backers.


Manama announced plans to reopen its embassy in Damascus in 2018 following similar moves by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) months earlier.

Despite damning evidence against the Assad regime, Bahrain has also issued sentiments of support for Syria’s territorial sovereignty and what it called a fight against terrorist elements within its borders.

In March, Assad made a controversial trip to the UAE, which marked his first visit to an Arab country since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011.

Assad's visit to the UAE was considered to be another serious step toward normalisation of Assad after around 100 countries cut diplomatic relations with the regime following its brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy Syrian uprising.