Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Tillerson: REIGN of the Assad Family is Coming to an END
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a stern warning to Russia on Tuesday – either stand with the US and other “likeminded” nations against Syria or side with President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and the militant group Hezbollah.
”We want to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people. Russia can be a part of that future and play an important role,” Tillerson told top diplomats during a meeting in Italy. “Or Russia can maintain its alliance with this group, which we believe is not going to serve Russia’s interests longer term.”
His comments come hours before he is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow and days after the US launched a cruise missile strike against a Syrian air base after Assad attacked his citizens with chemical weapons, killing 87 people.
Tillerson, who met with “likeminded” countries on the sidelines of the G-7 meetings of industrialized nations, said Russia failed to live up to its agreement to rid Syria of chemical weapons either through incompetence or negligence, but the distinction “doesn’t much matter to the dead.”
“We cannot let this happen again,” he said.
Tillerson said Assad’s days are numbered.
”It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,” he said. “But the question of how that ends and the transition itself could be very important in our view to the durability, the stability inside of a unified Syria.”
“That’s why we are not presupposing how that occurs,” Tillerson added.
Moscow pledged to the US in 2013 that it would work to rid Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal.
With Post wires