Tillerson: US needs Turkey's help to work on Syria's future

19 January, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
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"A murderer of his own people can not generate the trust required for long-term stability".

Tillerson, it seemed, was moving the goal posts to include a more ambitious standoff with Iran and the Assad regime, a strategy long sought by informal advisors to the Trump administration such as John Bolton, a former USA ambassador to the United Nations, and Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank that often promotes anti-Iran positions.

The US supports the efforts of United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura and will seek to de-escalate the civil war in Syria, work for peace and encourage all parties to head to the negotiating table. With ISIS now beaten back into a small pocket of territory along the Iraq-Syria border, the U.S. has to address the reality that Iran's support for Mr Assad has given Teheran a vastly expanded reach, he said.

He said the USA, the European Union and regional partners will not provide reconstruction assistance to any area under control of the Assad regime, but once Assad is gone, the U.S. will gladly encourage the normalization of economic ties between Syria and other nations.

First, ISIS and Al Qaida in Syria suffer an enduring defeat, do not present a threat to the homeland, and do not resurface in a new form; that Syria never again serves as a platform or safe haven for terrorists to organize, recruit, finance, train and carry out attacks on American citizens at home or overseas or against our allies. According to him, just one new leadership to inherit Assad would provide stability, unity and independence.

"The Trump administration is implementing a new strategy to achieve these end states", Tillerson said. In recent days, troops backing Assad have said they want the USA presence in Syria to end, according to Syria's state-run news agency.

Turkey's military says the country's chief of military staff and intelligence chief have traveled to Russian Federation for talks on the situation in Syria.

"We can not make the same mistakes that were made in 2011, when a premature departure from Iraq allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to survive and eventually morph into ISIS", Tillerson said. It was that vacuum that allowed ISIS and other terrorist organizations to wreak havoc on the country. Washington won't allow worldwide reconstruction aid to flow to any part of Syria under Assad's control, he said.

"It is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria", Tillerson said in a speech on the Syria issue delivered at Hoover Institute at Stanford University, California.

"It is also essential so that ISIS [Daesh] can not reemerge in liberated and ungoverned areas".

Instead, he argued that the USA role will provide stability to allow a UN-led peace process to resume and find a Syrian-led alternative to Assad's rule and the Iranian presence. As in the years before 9/11, Al Qaida is eager to create a sanctuary to plan and launch attacks on the West.

"Assad is corrupt and harboring a countless number of terrorist groups". And Republicans and Democrats in the US have grown anxious that both of Assad's allies are now entrenched in the country, with Iran in particular posing an immediate threat to neighboring Israel. "We are actively developing the best option to neutralize this threat in conjunction with allies and partners".

Key questions that Tillerson left unaddressed, he continued, included how long Assad should remain in power and whether he would play a role in any political transition.

He insisted that his speech was "not inconsistent with what President Trump's made the priority".


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