Published: Mon, April 10, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

'Regime change... is going to happen': U.S. on Assad's future in Syria

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN that until Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is out of power, she doesn't see a political solution to the conflict in Syria. "Getting Assad out is not the only priority".

The comments represented a departure from what Haley had said before the United States military launched a massive missile strike against a Syrian airbase in the early hours of Friday.

Their comments highlight the degree to which questions remain about the nature of US policy in Syria after President Donald Trump authorized missile strikes against a government air base believed to have been involved in the deployment of chemical weapons against civilians last week.

If confirmed to be a chemical attack, this would be among the worst such incidents in Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.

"Regime change is something that we think is going to happen".

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that groundless accusations in the chemical weapons incident in Syria's Idlib were unacceptable before the investigation into the matter had been carried out while Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday criticized the U.S. missile attack as a violation of the global law.

"But you are going to know that the president is putting thought on it".

But there have been repeated allegations of chemical weapons use since. The missile strikes catapulted Washington into confrontation with Russian Federation, which has advisers on the ground aiding its close ally Assad.

"You can not have a stable Syria without jihadist elements on the ground with Bashar al-Assad in power". "The Syrian government didn't do it, '" Haley said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to take a more patient stance in regard to Assad, saying on Saturday that Washington's first priority is the defeat of Islamic State.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani Saturday criticised his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump for the missile attack on the Syrian airbase.

The US says the base was used in the Syrian attack in Khan Sheikhun in rebel-held Idlib province, whose victims included 27 children. "I mean, we've got to do that for peace and stability in the area".

Haley said that the Trump administration's view was that a political solution would not happen with Assad in power, though she stopped short of saying Assad's departure was now official United States policy.

In her interview with CNN's "State of the Nation", Haley said removing Assad from was one of a number of priorities for the US.

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