Obama open to work with Russia, Iran to end Syrian conflict

Obama openly acknowledges Russian, Iranian influence in Syria, says US willing to work with any nation to end conflict

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York, September 28, 2015

The US President, Barack Obama said the United States is willing to work with Iran and Russia to end the Syrian conflict, but reiterated that  returning to the status quo under Bashar al Assad is not a solution that the US would support. 

"The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict," Obama said at the annual gathering of world leaders, and added. "But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo."

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Obama said "Tyrants like Bashar al Assad who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children" cannot be supported under any circumstances.

The US president held Assad responsible for the four-year-long bloody civil war, in which at least 250,000 people lost their lives and millions have been displaced both internally and abroad seeking refuge. 

Obama's speech at the UN may signal a possible compromise between the divergent policies of the US, Russia and Iran for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

"Realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL," Obama said. "But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos." Obama added.

Tehran has been supporting the regime in Syria by arming it with weapons and having the Lebanese Hezbollah fight alongside the Assad regime throughout the civil war. Also Russia is engaged in a military build-up to support the regime.

US officials say they suspect Russian build-up forces consisting of tanks and warplanes in Syria reflects Moscow’s fear that the Assad’s regime might end and Russia is supporting Assad to maintain its own influence in the Middle East.  

Speaking in an interview with Charlie Rose of CBS, Putin said "There is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures," expressing support for Assad.

Turkey, which hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, alongside the US and France advocate a solution which does not involve Assad staying in power. 

TRTWorld and agencies