Sunday, 31 July 2016
Hillary Clinton will reset Syria policy against 'murderous' Assad regime
'Hillary Clinton will order a "full review" of the United States' strategy on Syria as a "first key task" of her presidency, resetting the policy to emphasise the "murderous" nature of the Assad regime, foreign policy adviser with her campaign has said.
Jeremy Bash, who served as chief of staff for the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, said Mrs Clinton would both escalate the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and work to get Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, "out of there".
"A Clinton administration will not shrink from making clear to the world exactly what the Assad regime is," he said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph. "It is a murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law; used chemical weapons against his own people; has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children."
Mr Obama has been roundly criticised by top experts and members of his own administration for instating an approach to the Syrian war - which has seen estimates of more than 400,000 people killed - that is riven with contradictions.
The White House remains notionally committed to removing Mr Assad, whilst at the same time, working in alliance with Russia, Damascus' top champion. As America switches its focus to destroying Isil and creating alliances with Moscow, the White House has quietly dropped its rhetoric against the Assad regime. Critics warn that this approach will only foster anti-American sentiment among Syrians, who feel abandoned by the United States following its failure to take decisive action against Damascus.
A source with access to White House officials said the administration sees the dangers that partnering with Russia could have in terms of worsening the dynamics on the ground, but that the president is trying to cover his bases until he steps down in November. The source said the White House feels it cannot not be seen to be doing nothing against an Al-Qaeda affiliate at a time of heightened national security in America. Were there to be an attack in the US that was claimed by Al-Qaeda the president's legacy would be destroyed, they fear.'