If the United States were to attack Assad, “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published on Friday.
“My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS [Islamic State], and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria. … Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are,” he added.
During his election campaign Trump said that the incumbent Syrian President Bashar Assad was not an ideal Syria’s governor, but several opposition groups that could come to power after his resignation could be worse. Trump said that his priority in Syria would be to eliminate the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group and not to remove Assad from power.