Obama offers bleak assessment of situation in Syria

By REUTERS
November 21, 2016 05:55

LIMA - US President Barack Obama said on Sunday that chaos in Syria could persist for "quite some time" and that Russian and Iranian support for President Bashar al-Assad's air campaign had emboldened the Syrian leader's crackdown on rebels.

"I am not optimistic about the short-term prospects in Syria," Obama said at a news conference in Lima at the conclusion of a summit with leaders of Pacific Rim countries.

"Once Russia and Iran made a decision to back Assad and a brutal air campaign and essentially a pacification of Aleppo regardless of civilian casualties, children being killed or wounded, schools or hospitals being destroyed, then it was very hard to see a way in which even a trained and committed moderate opposition could hold its ground for long periods of time," he said.


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