Nikki Haley Now Says Removing Assad From Power Is A US Priority

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad is a USA priority, just as it was under the Obama administration, and that peace in Syria was probably impossible while he remained in power.

The sentiment was supported by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who on Sunday said in an interview with ABC news [ABC report], that once the threat of ISIS had been reduced, the U.S. would focus on stabilizing the situation in Syria.

But he said the United States expected Russian Federation to take a tougher stance by rethinking its alliance with Assad because "every time one of these horrific attacks occurs, it draws Russian Federation closer into some level of responsibility".

"We condemn the USA missile attacks on Syria and consider it a clear violation of a country's sovereignty". He said that the attack will not help settle the crisis in Syria. "But clearly they've been incompetent and perhaps they've just simply been outmaneuvered by the Syrians", he said on ABC's "This Week".

But President Vladimir Putin has not personally condemned the US airstrike, and some reports suggest he is unhappy that Assad has boxed him into defending what many consider a war crime. "Or do they want it to be a relationship in which we can find areas of cooperation that are in our mutual interest?"

Russian Federation "agreed to be the guarantor of the elimination of the chemical weapons and why Russian Federation has not been able to achieve that is unclear to me", Mr Tillerson said on Sunday.

"There is no such thing as Assad yes, but ISIS no", Rubio said.

Tillerson said the USA priority in Syria was defeating Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS.

"The entire administration was in agreement that this was something that had to be done", Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

"This was something that needed to tell Assad, 'Enough is enough.' And this is something to let Russian Federation know, 'You know what? We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore'".

But about a week earlier, Haley said removing Assad from power wasn't a focus for the Trump administration.

But Haley suggested there has been a shift in U.S. thinking.

"In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence". Haley said that it was hard to see a peaceful and stable Syria with Assad as president [CNN report], based on his action and the current situation in Syria.

"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime", Haley said. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons.

Raids hit several other rebel-held towns including Saraqeb and Sarmin in the province, where the rebels and activists said incendiary bombs were dropped.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the United States was "prepared to do more" regarding military action in Syria if necessary.

Sen. John McCain on Sunday lobbed part of the blame for Syria having used chemical weapons against its own citizens at President Trump and his administration.

Kaine said that the USA should help Syria with humanitarian aid, rather than prioritizing ousting Assad or entering into a war with Syria and possibly its allies. "Russian Federation should ask themselves, .Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population?"

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