Tillerson in Turkey for talks on Syria, ISIS

The US Secretary of State’s remarks in Turkey that Assad’s fate will be determined by the Syrian people contrast with the Obama administration’s position. 

During a press conference Thursday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be determined by the Syrian people.

“I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,” Tillerson said in response to a question as to whether Assad should stay in the framework of a longterm solution to the six-year Syrian civil war.

Tillerson’s remarks contrast with the position of the previous administration under President Barack Obama, which held Assad had lost all legitimacy and must step down.

‘No Space Between Turkey and US’ on Defeating ISIS

Tillerson also said “finding a settlement in Syria that allows Syrians to return home,” as well as defeating Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Syria remain common interests. “I think on the question of how to carry forward with the defeat of Daesh/ISIS in Syria, let there be no mistake, just so we can be clear, there is no space between Turkey and the United States in our commitment to defeat Daesh, to defeat ISIS,” stressed Tillerson.

Tillerson conveyed a desire to strip ISIS of control over its de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria. “In terms of the future of Raqqa, we look forward to the liberation of Raqqa and the return of its control to local, to its local citizens, its authorities, and to putting it under local control for security, so that all Syrians who had to flee that area can return,” he added.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News