For nearly five years since street protests in Syria transformed into a bloody foreign-sponsored insurgency the Obama administration insisted that al-Assad was the problem and had to step down.
"There was a time when what we talked about within the US was the Assad regime. We are not talking about the Assad regime anymore. That is, I don't want to say inconsequential, but it is secondary," former CIA officer Jack Rice told RT.
Washington is currently focusing its foreign policy efforts in the region on tackling the most brutal, resilient and organized terrorist group the worldhas seen. Last week, the Pentagon said that US Marines will join approximately 3,600 US soldiers already deployed to Iraq to help local forces deal with Daesh.
"At the end of the day, what we have found is that it's the focus now, and the willingness of the US to step up alongside the Europeans, to some degree, but more importantly alongside the Iraqis and the Kurds – is something the US seems to be willing to do now, and they are willing to do it with some gusto," Rice observed.
The parties taking part in the Geneva negotiations will also refrain from mentioning al-Assad in the declaration, according to the draft document that Sputnik saw. The text, prepared by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and submitted to the negotiating sides for approval, neither calls on the Syrian president to resign, nor prevents him from taking part in the upcoming elections.