UN envoy worried Assad to launch brutal offensive before Trump takes office

November 23, 2016 04:13

The UN Special Envoy for Syria on Tuesday said he was worried that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could launch a new offensive to crush eastern Aleppo before US President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Staffan De Mistura did not explain why he thought Syria might make such a move, but European diplomats have said Assad may feel emboldened by Trump's vow to build closer ties with Russia, and the current US government is unlikely to strike back so close to leaving office.

De Mistura joined German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in calling for an end to the bombardment of civilians in Syria and a political solution to the conflict.

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