WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States must focus on defeating Daesh in Syria first before it attempts to force President Bashar Assad out of power, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said in his confirmation hearing at the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
"We have had two competing priorities in Syria under this [Obama] administration: Bashar al-Assad ‘must go’ and the defeat of ISIS [Daesh]," Tillerson stated. "Carrying both of those out simultaneously is extremely difficult because at times they conflict with one another. The clear priority is: defeat ISIS."
Tillerson added that by defeating Daesh, the United States can help create a level of stability to focus on dealing with Assad’s exit, and also consider the best options on what may come next after Assad’s departure.
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