There’s something about drawing lines in the sand in the middle east that sets political fires a blazing. This time Rex Tillerson has had enough, and he expects the Russians to commit to a side and/or suffer the consequence.
Independent Journal Review had Tillerson’s comments.
Before leaving to visit Moscow on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a strong message to Russia in regard to its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Here’s what he said.
“We want to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people. We want to create a future for Syria that is stable and secure. And so Russia can be a part of that future and play an important role, or Russia can maintain its alliance with this group, which we believe is not going to serve Russia’s interest longer-term. But only Russia can answer that question.”
Additionally, Tillerson shifted some of the blame for Assad’s use of chemical weapons onto the Russians.
“It is also clear Russia has failed to uphold the agreements that had been entered into under multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Tillerson said. “These agreements stipulated Russia as the guarantor of a Syria free of chemical weapons, that they would also locate, secure, and destroy all such armaments in Syria.”
Additionally, The New York Times noted Tillerson’s prediction of the end of Assad.
Mr. Tillerson said that the American priority in Syria and Iraq “remains the defeat of ISIS,” and that Mr. Assad does not have a place in Syria’s future.
“I think it is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,” the secretary of state said. “But the question of how that ends, and the transition itself, could be very important, in our view, to the durability, the stability inside of a unified Syria.”
“We are not presupposing how that occurs,” he said, but he added that Mr. Assad’s continued use of chemical weapons had ended his legitimacy.
One thing is clear. The Trump administration is serious about ending the brutality coming from Syria, and they’ll do what ever is necessary to end it.