US says political transition vital to fight against ISIS

US State Department insists on political transition without Assad

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Bashar al Assad answers questions during an interview with al Manar TV

The US State Department repeated its commitment on Friday to a political transition "away from" Syrian President Bashar al Assad to end Syria’s four-year-long conflict after the meeting with a US special envoy in Moscow.

The new US special envoy to Syria, Michael Ratney, would visit Moscow, Riyadh and Geneva later this week in an attempt to find a political solution to the four-year-long Syrian conflict. A senior State Department official said Ratney would visit three centres from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2. He began his travel with Moscow visit on Friday.

The State Department said in a statement, "The United States remains strongly committed to achieving a genuine, negotiated political transition away from Bashar al-Assad that brings an end to the violence."

"Assad's continued tenure fuels extremism and inflames tensions in the region. That is why apolitical transition is not only necessary for the good of the people of Syria, but an important part of the fight to defeat the extremists."

The United States has been training Syrian opposition fighters to take down Assad as US-led coalition has been bombing ISIS in Syria.

The Obama administration insisted on political transition without Assad. Saudi Arabia rejected any coalition plan that includes Assad and like the United States wants to see his exit.

Assad said in an interview with Al Manar TV on Tuesday, he was willing to make coalition against ISIS but not with his enemies, referring to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

A spokesman at the State Deparment, John Kirby, said "There is not going to be a military solution to this. It's got to be done politically."

He said Ratney’s travel was one of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to work with Russia and Saudi Arabia on Syria.

Kirby said the US had concerns about Moscow’s support for Assad. He said  "His brutality, his loss of legitimacy to govern has only allowed ISIL [ISIS] to fester inside the country."


TRTWorld and agencies