- ‘No Role for Assad’: Tillerson’s U-Turn on Syria Regime Change
The Trump administration has reversed course on Syria again, blaming President Bashar Assad for the alleged chemical attack in Idlib province and declaring he has no future leading Syria – just days after publicly abandoning the policy of regime change.
“There is no doubt in our minds, and the information we have supports, that the Syrian regime under the leadership of Bashar al-Assad are responsible for this attack,” Tillerson told reporters in Florida, ahead of the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“It is very important that the Russian government consider carefully their support for Bashar al-Assad.” Tillerson added.
Asked if the US will lead a regime change effort in Syria, Tillerson said that “those steps are underway.”
Just last week, Tillerson was telling reporters that Assad’s fate is something to be “decided by the Syrian people,” drawing criticism from the US foreign policy establishment. Under former President Barack Obama, the US has maintained that “Assad must go” was a precondition for peace in Syria, ravaged by civil war since 2011.
The abrupt change comes after the allegations that the Syrian air force used chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib province, heavily publicized by Al-Qaeda-affiliated White Helmets rescue group.