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Tillerson: Assad should have 'no role' in Syria's future

Tillerson: Assad should have 'no role' in Syria's future
President Bashar al-Assad and his family have no role in the future Syria, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday ahead of peace talks aiming at a political transition scheduled to resume next month, CBC reported on Friday.
Tillerson said that the Trump administration backed the Geneva peace talks as the only way to end the more than six-year-old war and move to a political transition and elections.
He was speaking after holding talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who announced that stalled peace talks between the Syrian government and still-to-be-united opposition would resume in Geneva on Nov. 28.
"The United States wants a whole and unified Syria with no role for Bashar al-Assad in the government," Tillerson told reporters in the Swiss city at the end of a week-long trip that took him to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and India.
"It is our view and I have said this many times as well that we do not believe that there is a future for the Assad regime and Assad family. The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end. The only issue is how that should be brought about."
Tillerson called his discussions with de Mistura "fruitful" and said the United States will "continue our efforts to de-escalate the violence in Syria."
He said the only reason Assad's forces had succeeded in turning the tide in the war against ISIS and other militants was "air support they have received from Russia."
Tillerson said Iran, Assad's other main ally, should not be seen as having made the difference in the defeat of ISIS in Syria.
"I do not see Syria as a triumph for Iran. I see Iran as a hanger-on. I don't think that Iran should be given credit for the defeat of ISIS in Syria. Rather I think they have taken advantage of the situation."