Clinton says removing Assad in Syria is No. 1 priority
HAARETZ – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday said removing President Bashar al-Assad is the top priority in Syria. Clinton, speaking at a town hall meeting in Hollis, said the United States should pursue a diplomatic solution in resolving Syria’s internal conflict. Her comments come at a time of a growing gulf between Russia and the U.S. on the appropriate place of the Syrian President in the fight against ISIS.
U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday that Russia’s ongoing military action in Syria against moderate groups puts at further risk “the very political resolution and preservation of Syria’s structure of future governance it says that it wants.”
“This approach is tantamount to pouring gasoline on the fire of the Syrian civil war,” he said.
Carter said he continues to hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will see that tethering Russia to a sinking ship is a losing strategy” and that it will go after Islamic State targets rather than using its airstrikes to hit Syrian President Bashar Assad’s opposition.
Speaking at a press conference Monday in Spain, Carter said the U.S. is conferring with Turkish leaders about the airspace violation and that the issue will come up later this week at the NATO meeting of defense ministers
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