Damascus to ‘wait and see’ if Trump keeps promises
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday Damascus would have to “wait and see” if US PresidentDonald Trump would change Washington’s policy on Syria but that he was ready to cooperate with him in fighting militants.
In his first comments on Trump’s election victory, Assad said the Republican leader had made promising comments on the need to battle Islamists in Syria’s war but “can he deliver?” Bashar al-Assad,
“We don’t have a lot of expectations because the US administration is not only about the president. ... So we have to wait and see when he embarks on his new mission as president in two months’ time,” he said.
“What about the countervailing forces within the (US) administration?” Assad told aPortuguese television channel in remarks released by Syrian state television, pointing to what he said were rival “lobbies and powers” that traditionally influence any incumbent US president.
Trump has struck a different tone to current US policy on some aspects of the multisided Syrian conflict, where the United States with allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia has backed some of the insurgents who have been fighting to toppleAssad’s government for more than five years.
Trump has questioned the wisdom of backing rebels, played down the US goal of getting Assad to leave power, and noted that while he didn’t like him, “Assad is killing ISIS” with Iran and Russia. ISIS is another acronym for Islamic State group.
“That’s why for us it’s still dubious whether he (Trump) can do or live up to his promises or not,” Assad said.
“That is why we are very cautious in judginghim... But let’s say if he is going to fight the terrorists of course we are going to be (an) ally, natural ally with the Russians, with the Iranians,” he added.
Assad said he was ready to cooperate with Washington if it ended its policy of supporting rebels seeking to overthrow the government.
Meanwhile, Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate targeted terrorists in Syria with cruise missile strikes, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said onTuesday, Sputniknews reported.
The resumption of bombing in rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo was the first time in nearly a month.
The Russian blitz began hours after President Vladimir Putin and Trump discussed Syria in a phone call and agreed on the need to combine efforts in the fight against what the Kremlin called their No 1 enemy — “international terrorism and extremism”.
If he (Trump) is going to fight the terrorists of course we are going to be (an) ally, natural ally with the Russians, with the Iranians.” Syrian president