Obama says Syrian war not likely to end before he leaves office

[16-05-2015 01:36 PM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - US President Barack Obama said Friday that the war in Syria would not likely end before he leaves office in early 2017 and reaffirmed his belief that there is no "military solution" to the conflict.

The situation in Syria is heartbreaking but it's extremely complex" Obama said in an interview with Al-Arabiya News Channel.

Asked if the conflict, which has left more than 220,000 people dead, might be resolved before he ends his second term, Obama responded "probably not."

"You have a civil war in a country that arises out of longstanding grievances" he said.

"It was not something that was triggered by the United States and it was not something that could have been stopped by the United States," he said, adding that "all too often in the Middle East region, people attribute everything to the United States."

Obama emphasized that settling the conflict would require the cooperation of Gulf allies and other regional nations such as Turkey, but that "a military solution is not going to be the solution."

He reiterated that it makes more sense to work with those countries, instead of engaging them "unilaterally."

With respect to the chemical weapons issue, Obama said that people may criticize us for not having launched missiles against Assad after chemical weapons had been used, but keep in mind why we didn't. "We didn't because they got rid of their chemical weapons", he said.

On Iran, which many Gulf countries see as a regional threat, Obama said that plans had been made for "joint capabilities to address destabilizing activities and conflicts in the region, some of these are related to concerns surrounding Iran.


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