Monday, September 28, 2015

U.S. Willing to Work with Russia and Iran to Resolve Syrian Conflict - Obama

UN General Assembly opened today with a focus on the Syrian conflict. President Obama said the U.S. is willing to work with any nation – including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict in Syria. Obama added that the pre-war scenario in which Assad remains in power could not be part of the solution, emphasizing that we should not support “tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs on innocent children, because the alternative is surely worse.” But Obama used the language of a compromise in describing leadership change in Syrian as a “managed transition” away from Assad.

“The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to pre-war status quo,” Obama told heads of states and governments and other officials present at the UNGA.

“Yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL. But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild,” Obama said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke at UNGA shortly after Obama, said no one but Assad and his armed forces are truly fighting the Islamic State. He did not elaborate on the assertion, especially given the fact that Assad and his military have rarely engaged against ISIL and instead have on opposition forces and other anti-regime groups.

Putin shared his concern that fighters recruited by ISIL, presumably Chechens and other Russians, may one day return home to Russia. Putin said, “We cannot allow these criminals who tasted blood to return home.” Putin called for a grand coalition of nations to fight ISIL.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who spoke after Obama and Putin, did not mention Assad by name. But he also called for a global coalition against terrorists, and proposed a “biding international document” against terrorism.

Rouhani’s remarks on the problems plaguing the region focused instead against the United States and its support for an “inhumane” Israel, saying current conflicts in the region are ultimately the product of American policy.

“If we did not have the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq… today the terrorists would not have an excuse or justification for their crimes,” Rouhani said.

It’s worthy to note that the Islamic Republic actively supported the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan after 9/11. It was not clear if Rouhani’s reference now to that war is a change in the official Iranian position.

Photo credit: Presidents Obama and Putin at the UN luncheon after their speeches to the General Assebly; Monday 28 September 2015 (Twitter)


Anonymous said...

2 great event for today
1) the lame duck ask iran / russia for help
2) Afghanistan city of Kundut taken by Talliban, The kunduz was the first city in 2001 was fallen in hand US/North Alliance during afghanistan war 2001/2002

every thing that the US took after 9/11 will go lost

Nader Uskowi said...

Are you happy about the loss of Kunduz to the Taliban? Please don't let your apparently anti-U.S. ideology mar your analysis. Loss of Kunduz to the Taliban is not only a big loss for the Afghan government, but should be a sad moment for all freedom loving people and all those who fight against terrorism.

Anonymous said...

Putin has expressed unequivocal support for Assad by saying that "We support legitimate government of Syria", and underlying that by removal of B. Assad situation can turn worse, in a similar way like it is in other countries including Libya.

President Assad will age and be replaced some time in the future, but for now there is nobody who would have that kind of charisma like B. Assad has.....

The West had time before, now and a future looks like it is for other countries, including Russia and Iran....


Mark Pyruz said...

The Iranian position on Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan has not changed.

From a multitude of comments made since the onset of OEF-A, the Iranians cooperated with the U.S. military in chasing the Taliban from power. Where the divergence comes from, is the Iranians being branded as an element of the "axis of evil" and the long drawn out military occupation of Afghanistan, that the Iranians say led to the resurgence of the Taliban.

We can disagree with that Iranian POV, but there is no change in the Iranian position as reflected in Rouhani's comments cited above.

Nader Uskowi said...

If Iran actively supported the invasion of Afghanistan to expel Al Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban, they must have done that based on the merit of that operation, immaterial of what Bush would later.