Tillerson says US wants a unified Syria with no role for Assad

Orient Net 2017-10-26 14:50:00

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The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Assad family’s reign is coming to an end as he slammed Iran for taking advantage of the fight against ISIS in the region.

Speaking after a meeting with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura in Geneva, Tillerson said: "The United States wants a whole and unified Syria with no role for  Bashar Assad in the government," Tillerson told reporters. "We do not believe there is a future for the Assad regime, the Assad family."

America’s top diplomat said that an exit of Assad should be done through the Geneva process led by de Mistura, but that such a departure was not a "prerequisite" for that process to start.

Tillerson also sought to play down any idea that the Assad regime’s advances might amount to a "triumph" for Iran, which has been a key backer of Assad.

"I see Iran as a hanger-on," Tillerson said. "Iran has not been successful; the Russian government has been more successful. We have had success. I don’t think that Iran should be given credit for the defeat of ISIS in Syria."

Tillerson used a stop in Geneva on his way home from a trip to the Middle East and South Asia to meet with de Mistura, before the UN envoy was set to address the UN Security Council by video conference later in the day.