The recent Daesh defeat in Syria and government gaining control over the majority of territories previously seized by opposition or militants, has reportedly prompted the US change in attitude toward Assad.
US President Donald Trump’s administration is prepared to accept the continuation of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule until the country’s next presidential election, set for 2021, The New Yorker newspaper reported, citing unnamed US and EU officials, explaining that depending on the results of the next US presidential election in 2020, Assad might still be in power, when Trump leaves office.
Such a stance contradicts Washington’s previous statements, which have supported the Syrian opposition, prompting Assad to step down as part of Syria’s crisis settlement. However, due to the latest developments in the region, the defeat of the Daesh terror group (banned in Russia) in Syria, has again put the original Syrian civil war in the spotlight.
After over six years of the conflict, Damascus has regained control over the majority of territories previously seized by opposition or militants and the opposition, quite the opposite, has found itself in a weaker position, as it has split into various factions with no new leadership emerging since 2011.
The outlet also noted, that in the peace process, the United States had been marginalized by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, which have also initiated Syrian settlement negotiations, thus driving Washington to change its course.
Taking into consideration political and military realities, US officials have decided that transition of political power in Syria will depend on elections in the country, held under the auspices of the UN. Nevertheless, in Syria, devastated by the civil war, holding such a vote would be a challenge, according to diplomats, cited by the outlet. Also, new and credible opposition will need time to emerge.