This reminds us of the story from the Vatican Secret Archives:
A formal (bureaucratic) letter from Abraham Lincoln (President of the Union of America), in the midst of the civil war, to the Pope, dated 1863, presented his special envoy but made no mention of the bitter, deadly conflict. That same year the Pope received an informal letter from Lincoln’s rival, Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederate States of America), which vividly described the brutality of the ongoing civil war; likely intended to gain recognition from the Pope, of the Confederate State.
A few months later, Pope Pious replied to Davis addressing him as President of the Confederate State (Praesidi Foederatarum Americae Regionum), triggering a diplomatic crisis in Washington.
We wonder if Bashar al-Assad knows his US history? He certainly enjoyed his Ophthalmology training in the US.
God Bless America