Tillerson Outlines New US Strategy on Syria, No Future with Assad

Tillerson Outlines New US Strategy on Syria, No Future with Assad

Tillerson Outlines New US Strategy on Syria, No Future with Assad

"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. In recent days, troops backing Assad have said they want the US presence in Syria to end, according to Syria's state-run news agency.

Yildirim says: "The U.S. must eliminate the confusion and change its stance in favor of peace and improving relations with Turkey".

The transition to what appears to be open-ended stability operations in Syria could leave those US -backed forces vulnerable to shifting alliances, power struggles and miscommunications as Assad's allies and enemies vie for greater control of post-war Syria.

"As a destabilized nation and one bordering Israel, Syria presents an opportunity that Iran is all too eager to exploit", Tillerson said.

And by declaring ending Iran's influence as an explicit goal of USA foreign policy in Syria, he may be imperiling United States troops, a prospect that has long-worried U.S. military officials, who remember the lethality of Iranian-origin explosives on United States forces who fought in Iraq a decade ago.

As candidate, U.S. President Donald Trump was critical of his predecessors' military interventions in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

"It is a great tool when it's used well", Tillerson said.

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Tillerson said the USA recognizes that Syria presents many complexities. Previously, the USA strategy in Syria had operated within the narrow lines of battling the Islamic State.

Speaking at Stanford University after being introduced by former top diplomat Condoleezza Rice, Tillerson said the Trump administration was determined not to repeat President Barack Obama's "mistake" when he withdrew USA troops from Iraq in 2011. The US has at least 2,000 troops in Syria, according to Pentagon figures released in December. "A Syrian central government that is not under the control of Assad will have new legitimacy to assert its authority over the country", Tillerson said in his prepared remarks.

Backed by Russian Federation and Iran, Assad has reasserted control over much of Syria.

The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria said on Wednesday he had invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting next week in Vienna.

But a crisis unfolding on the Syria-Turkey border that threatens to embroil the United States military in a wider regional conflict underscored how hard it will be for the relatively small U.S. presence in Syria to influence the outcome of the conflict there.

The new army will be formed from the Kurdish forces which control the northern Syrian areas, a move considered by experts and governments as a US plan to fragment Syria.

The Unites States is taking Turkey's concerns regarding Syria "seriously", the Secretary of State said.

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