Trump administration not focused on removing Assad

For the Trump administration the main goal for the US in Syria is to defeat ISIS. 

The Trump administration has made it clear the US is not focused on removing the Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. This contrasts with the policy of the previous administration.

“I think with respect to Assad, there is a political reality we have to accept in terms of where we are right now,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday.

“We lost a lot of opportunity in the last administration with respect to Assad, and I think our statement that both UN Ambassador Haley gave yesterday and Secretary of State Tillerson reflects the reality that it’s now up to the Syrian people,” Spicer continued.

During a joint press conference in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Rex Tillerson said “the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.”

In his press conference on Friday, Spicer added the primary US goal is defeating the Islamic State (ISIS).

“We made it clear that counter terrorism, particularly the defeat of ISIS, is foremost among those priorities, and that’s why our forces in the global coalition are partnering with local forces against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”

Haley told reporters on Thursday removing Assad was no longer a top US priority. “You pick and choose your battles and when we’re looking at this, it’s about changing our priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out,” she said, though she referred to Assad as a “hindrance” to progress in Syria.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News