"He said: "The British Office to which I used to belong, I’m sorry to say has gotten Syria wrong every step of the way. "They told us at the beginning that Assad’s demise was imminent. They told us he’d be gone by Christmas. They didn’t say which Christmas, so they could still be proven correct. "But then they told us that the opposition was dominated by these so-called moderates. That proved not to be the case and now they're telling us another big lie – that Assad can’t control the rest of the country. Well I’ve got news for them – he’s well on the way to doing so." Mr Ford said that when the conflict started the UK should have either "put everything, including our own forces on to the battlefield, or if in our judgement – as it would have been my judgement – that was not realistic, refrain from encouraging the opposition to mount a doomed campaign." He claimed the UK’s tough talk on one hand, followed by little action to back rebels in Syria on the other had preceded a rebellion that had "only led to hundreds of thousands of civilians being maimed and killed"."