Assad isn't blameless, but he isn't completely to blame either. The "Arab Spring" had the Wahhabists/Salafists/Takfiris lurking behind it. Assad knew it but apparently didn't know enough to liberalize without giving those Wahhabists room to do what they've done. The US knew but didn't want to allow even a remnant of Ba'athism to continue ruling Syria.
I suggest the US offer Assad the right to run again under term limits. He did win the last election fair and square.
Isn't democracy what it's supposed to be all about from where the US is coming?
Well, we all know that money (wealth, power, and control) comes first in US policy decisions. That needs to change.