Tillerson: Russia Should Decide Assad’s Fate

Monday, July 3, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Jul 3, 2017

And so, three months after the US State Department famously flip-flopped, when first at the end of March Rex Tillerson said at a news conference that “the longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people” adding that “our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out” only to follow one week later with Tillerson’s warning to Russia that “coalition steps are underway to remove Assad” which in turn segued into the first US attack on Syrian soil with the launch of no less than 59 cruise missiles, the US has done it again and according to Foreign Policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has once again told the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres that the fate of Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad now lies in the hands of Russia, and that the Trump administration’s priority is limited to defeating the Islamic State.

The striking reversal was announced during a private State Department meeting last week, according to three diplomatic sources cited by FP.

And, as FP adds, “the remarks offer the latest stop on a bumpy U.S. policy ride that has left international observers with a case of diplomatic whiplash as they try to figure out whether the Trump administration will insist that Assad step down from power. Nearly three months ago, Tillerson had insisted that Assad would have to leave office because of his alleged use of chemical weapons.”

The news, which will again be met with an angry response by neocons like John McCain – as happened in March – signaled the Trump administration’s increasing willingness to let Russia take the driver’s seat in Syria. Tillerson also signaled that U.S. military action against Assad’s forces in recent months is intended to achieve only limited tactical goals–deterring future chemical weapons attacks and protecting U.S. backed-forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria–not weakening the Assad government or strengthening the opposition’s negotiating leverage.

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