Trump: Russia Must Rein in Assad, Iran-Backed Forces in Syria

Says Syrian Civil War 'Must Stop'

In his first meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, President Trump was said to have focused heavily on the Syrian Civil War, and has belief that it not only “must stop,” but that it is Russia’s responsibility to stop it.

Trump insisted that Russia needs to “rein in the Assad regiime, Iran, and Iranian proxies” in Syria, which suggests his shift toward calling for regime change in Syria when he attacked a Syrian airbase last month appears largely unchanged.

Lavrov said his focus was primarily on the Syrian safe zones, a plan which President Trump had previously been in favor of, but which since Russia backed them they are now extremely evasive about their posiition on. Syrian rebels have ruled out respecting the safe zones, though Russia, Turkey, Iran, and the Syrian government will respect them.

All signs are that the talks focused virtually exclusively on Syia, as Lavrov said that the US sanctions against Russia had not been addressed during the meeting. The Trump Administration has suggested the sanctions are going to remain in place until Russia gives the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine, which is to say forever.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.