Senior US official hints at regime change in Syria

Senior US official hints at regime change in Syria
Coming closer to embracing regime change in Syria, the US ambassador to the United Nations said that with President Bashar al-Assad in power, Syria will not know peace.

2 min read
09 April, 2017
The US ambassador to the UN made the comments during an interview [AFP]

There will be no peace in Syria while President Bashar al-Assad remains in power,  the US ambassador to the United Nations said, a statement that suggests the Trump administration could be closer to embracing regime change, CNN reported on Sunday.

"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime," Nikki Haley told "State of the Union" program. 

"It just - if you look at his actions, if you look at the situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad."

Despite the comments, Haley fell short of solidifying whether the United States Trump administration had changed its policy towards the conflict. 

Just a day earlier, the top US diplomat said Washington was ready to take additional action after a solo US strike on a Syrian air base.

The base was used in the Syrian attack in Khan Sheikhun in rebel-held Idlib province, whose victims included 27 children.

US President Donald Trump has signalled a startling turn against Assad, who many in the international community hold responsible for Tuesday's horrific events.

Although many US lawmakers supported the Pentagon's strikes on a Syrian airbase on Friday morning, there remains an increasing feeling among President Donald Trump's critics and backers that further military escalation will need permission from Congress.

The firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Bashar al-Assad regime's Shayrat airbase rekindled the debate in Congress over the legal use of US military muscle.

Both Republican and Democratic senators emerged from a classified meeting on Friday backing the commander-in-chief's swift response to Syria over the chemical attack that killed over 80 people earlier this week.

If confirmed to be a chemical attack, this would be among the worst such incidents in Syria's civil war, which has killed more than 320,000 people since it began in March 2011.

Syria officially relinquished its chemical arsenal and signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 to avert military action after it was accused of an attack outside Damascus that killed hundreds.

Despite repeated allegations of chemical use since, Assad has denied responsibility for the attacks and has blamed rebel groups for possessing chemical weapons.