Syria's Assad sees Trump's Islamic State view as promising

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2017 1:59 AM

AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said U.S. President Donald Trump prioritizing the fight against jihadists by Islamic State was promising although it was too early to expect any practical steps, state news agency SANA reported on Tuesday.

Trump has indicated he might cut U.S. support for Syrian rebels and might help Syria in the fight against Islamic State.

He has made defeating Islamic State a core goal of his presidency and signed an executive order asking the Pentagon, the joint chiefs of staff and other agencies to submit a preliminary plan on how to proceed within 30 days.

Assad was quoted by SANA as telling a group of Belgian reporters: "I believe this is promising but we have to wait and it's too early to expect anything practical."

In a tweet on Monday, Trump said: "The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real, just look at what is happening in Europe and the Middle-East. Courts must act fast!"

Assad was also quoted as saying that U.S-Russian cooperation in stepping up the fight against the militants would have positive repercussions.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi in AMMAN and Ahmed Tolba in CAIRO; Editing by Louise Ireland)