President Obama is signaling he’s willing to work with nations who supported Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to defeat the Islamic State.
“Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully,” Obama said during his address to the United Nations. “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict.”
Obama admitted, however, that Assad had permanently damaged his legitimacy to rule after persecuting “peaceful protests,” creating an environment that led to the rise of ISIS.
“Realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL,” Obama admitted. “But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad into a new leader and an inclusive government that recognizes that there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild.”
Obama’s remarks signal that his administration is not prepared to immediately remove Assad, even though Obama has called for his ouster for years.
In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled his military support for Assad to crush the Syrian rebels and eliminate ISIS.
“There’s no other solution to the Syrian crisis other than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism, but at the same time urging them to engage in positive dialogue with the rational opposition and conduct reform,” Putin said in an interview with CBS.
Iran has also signed support for the Assad regime, while ISIS continues to thrive in the country.
“In Syria, when our first objective is to drive out terrorists and combating terrorists to defeat them, we have no solution other than to strengthen the central authority and the central government of that country as a central seat of power,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani explained in an interview with CNN. “So I think today everyone has accepted that President Assad must remain so that we can combat the terrorists.”