With the Assad government in Syria cementing increasingly secure in control over much of the country, the US had quieted down for months on demands for Assad’s ouster, instead shifting to blaming Iran and Russia for Assad’s survival.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, however, now says that with Geneva talks coming up in late November, Assad has to be removed from power, and that the only way to end the Syrian war is for the world to accept a “whole and unified Syria with no role for Bashar al-Assad.”
Exactly how the US intends to see that as the end result is unclear, as while there are some nations that have backed the US calls for regime change, the non-jihadist rebel groups are virtually wiped out at this point, and such groups have no chance of seizing the country by force.
The Russian government has long insisted that the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people, and while the US nominally endorsed that idea at one point, it appears that Syria only gets to decide among US-approved options.
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