Tillerson: Assad's reign in Syria 'coming to an end'
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it was clear Syrian president Bashar Assad's rule is "coming to an end," but cautioned that the U.S. is "not presupposing how that occurs," at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy on Tuesday, abc news reported.
Tillerson's remarks came just hours ahead of his planned arrival in Moscow later in the day and amid growing criticism of Russia's support for the Syrian government after it launched a chemical attack last week that killed dozens of civilians, including small children.
“It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end,” Tillerson said. "But the question of how that ends and the transition itself could be very important in our view to the durability, the stability inside of a unified Syria."
Foreign ministers from Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates joined counterparts from the G7 countries to address the conflict in Syria days after the U.S. responded to the chemical attack with a cruise missile strike on a Syrian government airbase.
"We see no further role for the Assad regime longer term given that they have given up their legitimacy with these types of attacks," Tillerson said.
Ahead of his trip to Moscow, Tillerson also took aim at Russia's role in the conflict, saying the chemical attack made the Russians look "not so good," after Russia helped broker a deal that required Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons stockpiles back in 2013.
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