The New Yorker magazine reported on Monday, citing officials, that the Trump administration will accept President Bashar Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next election in 2021.
“There is no plausible American policy regarding Syria with an even remote chance of influencing future political developments in this unfortunate, war-torn country,” Paolo von Schirach, president of the Global Policy Institute and professor of international affairs, BAU International University said on Tuesday.
With the fight against Daesh soon coming to an end, there is no new guidance on what America would like to achieve in Syria, Schirach added.
“Where is Washington in all this? Not in any place of special relevance. America has influence in north-eastern Syria,” he said. “But its allies on the ground are mostly Kurdish forces that have very limited, if any, leverage on what will happen in Damascus.”
Now that Assad had recovered his firm hold on power with the consistent support of Russia, it was possible he could outlast Trump in office just as he had outlasted the previous two two-term presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Schirach suggested.
Trump and his administration needed to acknowledge the reality that they lacked the direct military power and diplomatic influence to significantly affect the outcome of the Syrian conflict, Schirach advised.
US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert during a press briefing earlier on Tuesday said the United States is still committed to the Geneva Process but believes that the future of Syria will not include President Bashar Assad.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria to their permanent bases after over two years of an anti-terrorist aerial campaign. Russia will leave troops sufficient to run the navy base in Tartus and the air base in Hmeimim. On December 6, Putin said that Daesh had been defeated on both banks of the Euphrates river in Syria.