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    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview. File photo

    Washington Wants 'Regime Change' in Syria 'by Hook or by Crook'

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    The American leadership wants to destroy Syria by any means possible but Russia's counterterrorism operation in the war-torn Arab country has forced Washington to support a non-military solution to the conflict, American geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told PressTV.

    "The United States has been pushing for regime change since 2011 really by hook or by crook, using all means necessary," the expert asserted. "Ultimately, the United States wants [the] destruction of Syria as a state, wants the destruction of Syria as we know it and the removal of Assad as a fundamental part of that."

    ​Initially, Washington's plan involved using rebel groups, like Daesh and al-Nusra Front, to carry out a regime change in Syria. Russia's aerial campaign launched following a formal request from Damascus made this impossible.

    • Russian military aircraft at Syria's Hmeimim airfield
      Russian military aircraft at Syria's Hmeimim airfield
      © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
    • Russian tactical group seen at Hmeimim aerodrome in Syria
      Russian tactical group seen at Hmeimim aerodrome in Syria
      © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
    • Russia deploys S-400 air defence missile system in Syria
      Russia deploys S-400 air defence missile system in Syria
      © Sputnik/ Dmitry Vinogradov
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    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
    Russian military aircraft at Syria's Hmeimim airfield

    "I think any serious political observer would agree that were it not for Russia's involvement in the conflict in Syria, the US would not even be willing to go to Vienna, would not be willing to really take part in a substantive political dialogue," Draitser noted.

    This is a welcoming development, which, the analyst expects, will bring at least "temporary peace" to Syria.

    Draitser warned that Washington's goals have fundamentally remained the same – the US wants Syria to be ruled by someone who is not a member of Assad's circle and they want the current president gone.

    "The United States has moved to a secondary option for regime change which is basically using the chaos and war in order to force a political dialogue in which the precondition is the removal of Assad or the so-called transition from Assad's rule," Draitser assumed.

    The analyst mentioned that Bashar al-Assad enjoys popular support in Syria, which could be the main reason why Washington does not want him to take part in the US-sponsored elections, expected to be held mid-2017. US policymakers are wary that the Syrian people could well vote for him.

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    Tags:
    Russian aerial campaign, regime change, Syrian conflict, Daesh, Syria, United States, Russia
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