United Nations, New York. The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stated on televised talk programs Sunday that the US will not stop its attacks in Syria until Syrian President Assad is gone, along with Iranian involvement in Syrian internal affairs.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is a priority, cementing an extraordinary change in the Trump administration’s stance on the embattled leader.
Barely days after the US launched military strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack widely blamed on the Assad regime, Haley said the departure of Assad was inevitable.
Prior to Tuesday’s attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed 89 people, Haley had said toppling Assad was not a priority. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said Assad’s long-term future would depend on the Syrian people.
Now the USA claims after seeing images of the horrific aftermath of the chemical attack, US President Donald Trump ordered a bombardment of the Shayrat airbase in western Syria, which the US claims was the launchpad for the strike. It was the first time that the US had struck the Syrian regime since the start of the six-year civil war.
Speaking on television talk shows, Haley said removing Assad from power was one of a number of priorities for the US.
“Getting Assad out is not the only priority. So what we’re trying to do is obviously defeat ISIS. Secondly, we don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly, get the Iranian influence out. And then finally move towards a political solution, because at the end of the day this is a complicated situation, there are no easy answers and a political solution is going to have to happen,” Haley explained.
Intelligence experts fear this sudden change in US policy will lead direct to military conflict between Assad sponsor Russian and the United States, pointing out that just as Israel has a solid relationship with the US, so too does Syria enjoy a special relationship to Russia.