U.S. signals open-ended presence in Syria, seeks patience on Assad's removal

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2018 3:11 PM

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The United States signaled on Wednesday an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader U.S. strategy to prevent Islamic State's resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran's influence.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a speech at Stanford University, made clear the United States would work diplomatically toward Assad's exit from power, but called for "patience" - an acknowledgment that Assad has been bolstered by Russia and Iran and is unlikely to leave power immediately.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh)